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Dr. William Knoblauch Publishes Book Chapter

February 1, 2019

Associate Professor of History Dr. William Knoblauch’s newest publication, “Selling Star Wars in American Mass Media,” is a featured chapter in the recently released Palgrave Collection entitled Media and the Cold War in the 1980s: Between Star Wars and Glasnost.

Knoblauch’s latest publication focuses on a media phenomenon of the cold war, the Strategic Defense Initiative, later coined Star Wars, and the feasibility of such a project during the 1980s.

William Knoblauch

Dr. William Knoblauch

“I got interested in the topic watching media in the 1980s as a kid,” said Knoblauch. “To me it was fascinating, the public was consumed by a concept.”

According to Knoblauch, there were non-government organizations creating commercials and documentaries for television to try and convince the public to support Star Wars. At the same time scientific groups were attempting to disprove the concept entirely.

“The government couldn’t even do what they commercialized,” said Knoblauch. “The Reagan administration needed to find a way to reshape the public narrative of something that had gotten wildly out of their control.”

Much like his previous book The Routledge History of World Peace Since 1750, Knoblauch’s chapter is a valuable resource for those interested in the time period as well as those who study the Cold War and 1980s media.

As an Associate Professor of History Dr. William Knoblauch teaches courses on topics including the Middle East, U.S. History, 20th century world history and history through film—which, this semester, focuses on America during the 1990s.

Media and the Cold War in the 1980s: Between Star Wars and Glasnost is available per request at North Wind Books by emailing bookstore@finlandia.edu.

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