How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know
Oxford University Press, USA, 9780190915810, 336pp.
Publication Date: October 3, 2018
List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
The question of how Donald Trump won the 2016 election looms over his presidency. In particular, were the 78,000 voters who gave him an Electoral College victory affected by the Russian trolls and hackers? Trump has denied it. So too has Vladimir Putin. Others cast the answer as unknowable. Drawing on path-breaking work in which she and her colleagues isolated significant communication effects in the 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, the eminent political communication scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson marshals the troll posts, unique polling data, analyses of how the press used the hacked content, and a synthesis of half a century of media effects research to argue that, although not certain, it is probable that the Russians helped elect the 45th president of the United States. In the process, Cyberwar tackles questions that include: How extensive was the troll messaging? What characteristics of the social media platforms did the Russians exploit? Why did the mainstream press rush the hacked content into the citizenry's newsfeeds? Was Clinton telling the truth when she alleged that the debate moderators distorted what she said in the leaked speeches? Did the Russian influence extend beyond social media and news to alter the behavior of FBI director James Comey? After detailing the ways in which the Russian efforts were abetted by the press, social media platforms, the candidates, party leaders, and a polarized public, Cyberwar closes with a warning: the country is ill-prepared to prevent a sequel.
About the Author
Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the International Communication Association. For her contributions to the study of political communication, she received the American Political Science Association's Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award in 1995. In 2016, the American Philosophical Society awarded her its Henry Allen Moe Prize in the Humanities. She is the author of many books, including Packaging the Presidency, Eloquence in an Electronic Age, Spiral of Cynicism (with Joseph Cappella), and The Obama Victory (with Kate Kenski and Bruce Hardy).