JUNE 9: NPR's BROOKE GLADSTONE / The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone On the Media

Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 7:30pm


Laura Miller on Brooke Gladstone in Salon




“Art Spiegelman meets Marshall McLuhan”

(Leon Neyfakh of the New York Observer)

Nearly one million weekly listeners trust NPR’s Brooke Gladstone to guide them through the distortions and complexities of the modern media. Now, in her brand new work of graphic nonfiction, THE INFLUENCING MACHINE, Gladstone bursts onto the page as an illustrated character in vivid comics drawn by acclaimed artist Josh Neufeld.


The cartoon of Brooke conducts the reader through two millennia of media history, from the newspapers in Caesar’s Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution and the manipulations of contemporary journalism. Gladstone’s manifesto debunks the notion that “The Media” is an external force outside of our control, since we’ve begun directly constructing, filtering and responding to what we watch and read. With fascinating digressions, sobering anecdotes, and brave analytical wit, The Influencing Machine equips us to be smart, savvy, informed consumers and shapers of the media. It shows that we have met the media and it is us. So now what? Join the spirited discussion!


Brooke Gladstone is co-host of NPR’s award-winning On the Media, produced by WNYC, and a former senior editor at Weekend Edition and All Things Considered. Gladstone has won several journalism awards, including two Peabody Awards.  The illustrator, Josh Neufeld, is the author of the New York Times best-selling A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge as well as a longtime artist for Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor.  Both live in Brooklyn, New York.


“Like Malcolm Gladwell or Michael Lewis or Michael Pollan, Brooke somehow takes a subject most of us don’t give a damn about and makes it completely entertaining.” -- Ira Glass, host of This American Life


The Influencing Machine is an indispensable guidebook for anyone who hopes to navigate the mirages and constantly shifting sands of our media landscape. Brooke Gladstone’s text and Josh Neufeld’s images illuminate one another with crackling wit and intelligence.” --  Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home


“Brooke Gladstone’s The Influencing Machine is so remarkable that it is hard to describe. The best I can do is: it’s a book about the history and current controversies of the media, all done as a Spiegelman-style comic-strip narrative. Brooke herself (or at least an avatar) leads you through it all, and her ‘voice’—well known after her years as host of NPR’s On the Media—comes through loud and clear, thanks to Josh Neufeld's witty drawings. I learned a lot, including a lot that I should have known already, and enjoyed every minute.” --  Michael Kinsley, author of Please Don't Remain Calm

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media By Brooke Gladstone, Josh Neufeld Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780393077797
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 23rd, 2011