The Message Bearers
The Message BearersOxygen Books
The Message Bearers is a path-breaking book that explores the relationship between Indian nationalism and the popular media of the period in Tamil Nadu. The period with which this study is concerned—1880 to 1945—was a crucial one in the history of Indian nationalism and this book taps popular sources— Tamil newspapers, magazines, popular song books, gramophone records and films—to understand the spirit of the times. It also attempts to interweave three separate strands: mass media, regional cinema and social history. Written in Theodore Baskaran’s characteristically engaging style, this book is a detailed and entertaining look at the ways in which the nascent media industry fuelled and influenced a period of critical change in India’s history.I am tremendously pleased that The Message Bearers will be available again, thanks to New Horizon Media. This is a landmark work of cultural history, showing how folk songs, ballads and popular drama, propagated through the new media of gramophone records contributed to the freedom movement in south India. It is a pioneer in the serious study of cinema in the south, a work of tremendous historical importance by one of the leading writers of south India.Thomas Trauttman, Professor of History, University of MichiganThis is perhaps one of the best books on film history to have appeared in recent years. Baskaran’s originality and meticulour research make this book a model for film historians.Parag Amladi , Film scholar.