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Slaying the Gorgon


ISBN# 09619943-6-5 Softcover – 205 pages

Author Interview

by WUNC’s The State of Things host Frank Stasio

Slaying the Gorgon - The Rise of the Storytelling Industrial Complex

In Slaying the Gorgon, traditional storyteller and public radio producer Joe McHugh offers a fascinating and provocative look at how we tell stories in the modern age given the dynamic and transforming influence of new technologies. From the venerated saints and cathedrals of the Middle Ages to the pop stars and cineplexes of today, he explains why images and sound are increasingly supplanting the authority of the printed word, and by so doing radically altering the cultural, economic, and political landscape of the United States and the rest of the world.

• What causes the political gridlock that prevents us from solving problems that threaten our very survival?
• How did the star of a television reality show become president of the United States?
• Why is the judge of a reality television show paid two hundred times more than a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?
• Why is public education’s reliance on standardized tests causing some school officials and teachers to falsify test scores?
• Why are churches holding worship services in movie theaters?
• How did a battle over a microphone in 1980 change the course of world history?
• What is a "sustainable imagination,” and what happens when a society industrializes the way it tells its stories?

“A compelling commentary on how media affects history, culture, and values. Mr. McHugh’s ideas are fresh, lively, and accessible, and he provides librarians with a unique language for dealing with the competing forces in media today.”
~ Connie Williams, past president, California School Library Association

“In Slaying the Gorgon, Joe McHugh reminds us that it is only the softer, more human voice that allows us to make sense of it all. In this book of great wisdom and deep humanity, we are able to see the world both as it is, and as we wish it to be.”
~Jeffery Dvorkin, director Journalism Program, University of Toronto, and former vice-president and head of news for National Public Radio.

“Crisply written, creative, and filled with lessons that can be applied to daily life. A great read!”
~Alan Burke, superintendent K-12 education, Washinton State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction