Recommended Reading List

Professor Anton’s Highly Recommended Reading list for “Communication Studies” students

Here is a non-disciplinary reading list for people who want to learn about communication and the human condition.  Although particular chapters have been singled out, this is done only for direction: the whole book is recommended in most cases.  At the very least, try to read a chapter from each book.

The list identifies some of the richest resources for thinking about communication, and it also seeks to demonstrate that thinkers from many different disciplines, backgrounds, and interests have recognized the centrality of communication to human endeavors.

Again: all readings are recommended.  Those readings that have an asterisk (*) are more readable and may serve as better points of entrance; those that have a number sign (#) might be quite difficult and you may want to work up to those.


Austin, J. L. (1962). “Lecture I, II, & III,” How to do things with words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bagdikian, B. H. (2004). “The Big Five,” The media monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press.

# Bateson, G. (1972). “A Theory of Play and Fantasy,” Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine Books.

* Bateson, G. (1979). “Every Schoolboy Knows,” Mind and nature: A necessary unity. New York: Bantam Books.

Baudrillard, J. (1983). “The Precession of Simulacra,” Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), Inc.

* Becker, E. (1971). “Self-Esteem,” & “Staging of Self-Esteem,” The birth and death of meaning: An interdisciplinary perspective on the problem of man. (2nd Ed).  New York: The Free Press.

Becker, E. (2005). “The Spectrum of Loneliness,” In D. Liechty (Ed.), The Ernest Becker reader. Seattle WA: University of Washington Press.

Bennis, W. (1989). On Becoming a Leader.  Mass: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

Berger, J. (1977). “Chapter 7,” Ways of seeing. New York: Penguin Books.

Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). “The Foundations of Knowledge in Everyday Life,” The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York: Doubleday.

Berman, M. (1989). “The Basic Fault,” Coming to our senses: Body and spirit in the hidden history of the West. Simon and Shuster.

Bleibtreu, J. N. (1968). “The Moment of Being,” The parable of the beast. New York: Macmillan.

Blumer, H. (1962). “Society as Symbolic Interaction,” In A. Rose (Ed.), Human behavior and social processes: An interactionist approach. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Bohm, D. (1996).  “Suspension and the Body,” & “Participatory Thought and the Unlimited,” On dialogue. London: Routledge.

Boorstin, D. J. (1961). “From News Gathering to News Making,” The image: A guide to pseudo-events in America.  New York: Atheneum.

Boulding, K. (1956). “The Image at the Biological Level,” The image: Knowledge in life and society. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Brown, N. O. (1959).”Language and Eros,” &” Filthy Lucre,” Life against death: The psychoanalytic meaning of history.  Middleton CN: Wesleyan University Press.

Buber, M. (1958). “Part I,” I and thou. (W. Kauffman, Trans.). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Burke, K. (1966). “Definition of Man,” “Terministic Screens,”  & ‘What Are The Signs of What?,” Language as symbolic action: Essays on life, literature and method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

# Burke, K. (1970). “Epilogue: Prologue in Heaven,” The rhetoric of religion: Studies in logology. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Burke, K. (1973). “Semantic and Poetic Meaning,” & “Literature as Equipment for Living,’ The philosophy of literary form: Studies in symbolic action.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Burke, K. (1974). “Communication and the Human Condition,” Communication, Vol. 1 No. 2. Spring.

Campbell, J. (1986). “Cosmology and the Mythic Imagination,” The inner reaches of outer space. New York: Harper and Row.

* Carey, J. W. (1989). “A Cultural Approach to Communication,” Communication as culture: Essays on media and society. Boston: Unwin Hyman.

Carothers, J. C. (1959). “Culture, Psychiatry, and the Written Word,” Psychiatry, Nov. 18-20, 22, 26-28, 32-34.

* Carpenter, E. (1973). “Closing One Eye,” Oh, what a blow that phantom gave me! New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Carse, J. P. (1986). Finite and Infinite Games. New York: Macmillan.

Cassirer, E. (1944). “A Clue to the Nature of Man: The Symbol” & “From Animal Reactions to Human Responses,” An essay on man: An introduction to a philosophy of culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Castaneda, C. (1973). “Death as an Advisor,” Journey to Ixtlan. New York: Touchstone.

Cioran, E. M. (1964, Spring) “a Portrait of Civilized Man,” in Hudson Review.

Cronen, V. E. (1995). “Coordinated Management of Meaning: The Consequentiality of Communication and the Recapturing of Experience,” In S. Sigman (Ed.), The consequentiality of communication. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

de Grazia, S. (1964). “Free Time of Machines“   Of Time, Work, and Leisure. Garden City NY: Doubleday.

de  Saint-Exupéry, A. (1950). “Chapter 6,” & “Chapter 70,”  The wisdom of the sands. (S. Gilberg, Trans.). New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

Derrida, J. (1977). “Signature, Event, Context,” Limited, Inc. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

# Dewey, J. (1981). “Nature, Communication and Meaning,” The later works of John Dewey, 1925-1953. Vol. 1: 1925. Experience and Nature. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Duncan, H. D. (1962). “Burke’s Sociology of Language,” Communication and social order.  New York: Bedminster Press.

Eco, U. (1986). “Travels in Hyperreality,” Travels in hyperreality. Orlando: Harcourt, Brace, Javanovich.

* Eco, U. (1995). “A Medieval Library,” Communication in history: Technology, culture, society, (eds.). D. Crowley & P. Heyer. New York: Longman Press.

Emerson, R. W. (1940). “The Over-Soul,” “Circles,” & “Society and Solitude,” The selected writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Random House.

Fish, S. (1980). “Normal Circumstances and Other Special Cases,” Is there a text in this class?: The authority of interpretive communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Foucault, M. (1993). “About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self,” Political theory, 2, 198-227.

Frazer, J. G. (1923). “Sympathetic Magic,” & “Tabooed Words,” The golden bough: A study in magic and religion. Macmillan.

Freire, P. (1990). “Chapter 2,” Pedagogy of the oppressed. (M. B. Ramos, Trans.). New York: The Continuum Publishing Company.

* Gass, W. H. (1985). “On Talking to Oneself,” Habitations of the word: Essays. New York: Simon and Shuster.

Gergen, K. J. (1991). “Social Saturation and the Populated Self,” The saturated self: Dilemma of identity in contemporary life. New York: Basic Books.

Goffman, E. (1959). “Performances,” The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books.

* Goffman, E. (1967). “On Face Work,” Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. New York: Pantheon Books.

Goffman, E. (1969). “Expression Games: An analysis of doubts at play,” Strategic Interaction. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Goodman, P.  (1972). “Not Talking and Talking,” & “Speaking as an Action, and Speech as a Thing,” Speaking and language: A defense of poetry. New York: Random House.

* Goody, J. (1977). “Evolution and Communication,” & “Literacy and Classification,” The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Gracian, B. (1950). “Keep a Store of Sarcasms and Know How to Use Them,” & “Do and Be Seen Doing,” The art of worldly wisdom. (J. Jacobs, Trans.). New York: Macmillan.

Greenblatt, S. (1988). “The Circulation of Social Energy,” Shakespearean negotiations: The circulation of social energy in Renaissance England. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Greenburg, D. (1966). “Methods to Misery with Others,” How to make yourself miserable: Another vital training manual.  New York: Random House.

Gusdorf, G. (1965). “Speaking as Human Reality,” & “Speaking as Encounter,” Speaking (La Parole). (P. T. Brockelman, Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

* Hall, E. T. (1976). “Context and Meaning,” & “Contexts, High and Low,” Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Hanh, T. N. (1974). “The Cyprus in the Courtyard,” “Mountains are Mountains and Rivers are Rivers,” & “Footprints of Emptiness,” in Zen Keys. (A. Low & J. Low, Trans.). New York: Anchor Books.

Hardison, O. B. (1989). “Mandelbrot’s Monstrosities,” Disappearing through the skylight: Culture and technology in the twentieth century. New York: Viking.

* Havelock, E. A. (1986). “The Modern Discovery of Orality,” & “The General Theory of Primary Orality,” The muse learns to write: Reflections on orality and literacy from antiquity to the present.  New Haven: Yale University Press.

Hayakawa, S. I. (1963). “How We Know What We Know,” Language in thought and action. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Heidegger, M. (1985). “ #23c Determination of the Basic Structure of Worldhood as Meaningfulness,” & “#28 The Phenomenon of Discoveredness,” The history of the concept of time: Prolegomena. (T. Kisiel, Trans.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Heidegger, M. (1995). “Thematic Exposition of the Problem of World through an Examination of the Thesis that ‘Man is World-Forming,’” The fundamental concepts of metaphysics: World, finitude, solitude. (W. McNeill & N. Walker, Trans.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Heider, F. (1958). “Affective Logic of the Relations Among P, O, and X,” The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

* Herder, J. G. (1966). “Section One,” & “Section Two,” Essay on the origin of language. (A. Gode, Trans.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Heschel, A. (1965).  “Part IV,” Who is man?  Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Highwater, J. (1981). “Image,” The primal mind: Vision and reality in Indian America. New York: Harper & Row.

* Hoffer, E. (1951). “The Appeal of Mass Movements,” The true believer: Notes on the nature of mass movements. New York: Harper and Row Publishing.

# Holenstein, E. (1976). “Perspectives of a Comprehensive Theory of Language,” Roman Jakobson’s approach to language: Phenomenological structuralism. (C. Schelbert and T. Schelbert, trans). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Innis, H. A. (1951). “Minerva’s Owl,” The bias of communication. University of Toronto Press.

James, W. (1958). “The Laws of Habit,” Talks to teachers on psychology: and to students on some of life’s ideals. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Johnson, W. (1946). “ Verbal Cocoons,” People in quandaries: The semantics of personal adjustment. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Johnson, W. (1956). “The Talking Tribes,” Your most enchanted listener. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.

# Jonas, H. (1966).  “The Nobility of Sight,” & “Image-Making and the Freedom of Man,” The phenomenon of life: Toward a philosophical biology. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Keller, H. (1904). “Chapter IV,” The story of my life. New York: Doubleday, Page, and Co.

# Kierkegaard, S. (1944). “Becoming Subjective,” & “Subjective Truth, Inwardness; Truth is Subjectivity,” Concluding unscientific postscripts to Philosophical Fragments. (D. F. Swenson & W. Lowrie, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Kierkegaard, S. (1967). “Communication,” Søren Kierkegaard’s journals and papers. Vol. 1, A-E. (H. V. Hong & E. H. Hong, Trans.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Klapp, O. E. (1986). “The Appetite for Information,” & “Creeping Banality,” Overload and boredom: Essays on the quality of life in the information society.  New York: Greenwood Press

Koestler, A. (1967). “The Holon,” The ghost in the machine. London: Pan Books.

Korzybski, A. (1921). “Classes of Life” & “What is Man,” Manhood of humanity. Institute of General Semantics.

Korzybski, A. (1937). “Lecture 3, Lecture, 8, & Lecture 9,” General semantics seminar 1937: Olivet college lectures. Institute of General Semantics

Krishnamurti, J. (1969). “IX,” & “XII,” Freedom from the known. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.

Kwant, R. C. (1965). Phenomenology of language. Pittsburgh, PA:  Duquesne University Press.

Laing, R. D.  (1990). “Confirmation and Disconfirmation,” Self and others. New York: Penguin Books.

Laing, R. D., Phillipson, H., & Lee, A. R. (1966). “The Spiral of Reciprocal Perspectives,” Interpersonal perception: A theory and a method of research. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

* Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). “Concepts We Live By,” & “Metaphorical Systematicity,” Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

# Langer, S. K. (1942). “Discursive and Presentational Forms,” & “Language,” Philosophy in a new key: A study in the symbolism of reason, rite and art. New York: Mentor Books.

Leder, D. (1990). “The Ecstatic Body,” In The Absent Body.  Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press

# Lee, D. (1959).  “Symbolization and Value,” Freedom and culture. New York: Prentice Hall.

Lee, D. (1976).  “To Be or Not to Be,” Valuing the self: What we can learn from other cultures. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Lee, I. J. (1941). “Acquaintance, Abstracting, and Non-Allness,” Language habits in human affairs: An introduction to general semantics. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Lévy-Bruhl, L. (1975). “Notebook IV,” & “Notebook V,” The notebooks on primitive mentality. (P. Riviére, Trans.). New York: Harper & Row Publishers.

Lingis, A. (1994). “The Murmur of the World,” The community of those who have nothing in common. Indiana, IN:  Indiana University Press.

Matson, F. W., & Montagu, A. (1967). The human dialogue: Perspectives on communication. (Eds.), New York: The Free Press.

* McCloud, S. (1994). “The Vocabulary of Comics,” “Blood in the Gutter,” Understanding comics: The invisible art.  New York: Harper Press.

McLuhan, M. (1964). “The Medium is the Message,” “Media, Hot and Cold,” Understanding media: The extensions of man. Cambridge, MA.: The M.I.T. Press.

* McLuhan. M. (1969). Counterblast. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.

Mead, G. H. (1934). “Thought, Communication, and the Significant Symbol,” Mind, self & society: From the standpoint of a social behavorist. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1973). “Science and the Experience of Expression,” & “The Algorithm and the Mystery of Language,” The prose of the world. (J. O’Neill, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

* Mitchell, R. (1979). “The Worm in the Brain,” & “Two Tribes,” Less than words can say. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company.

Mumford, L. (1967). “The Mindfulness of Man,” The myth of the machine Vol. I Technics and human development.  New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

# Nietzsche, F. (1979). “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense,” In D. Breazeale (Ed.), Philosophy and truth: Sections from Nietzsche’s notebooks of the early 1870’s. Atlantic Highland, NJ: The Humanities Press.

* Oates, W. J. (1940). “The Manual of Epictetus,” & “The Discourses,” The stoic and epicurean philosophers. New York: Random House.

Olson, D. (1994). “The Recovery of Communicative Intention,” The world on paper: The conceptual and cognitive implications of writing and reading.  Great Britain: Oxford University Press.

Ong, W. J. (1962).  “A Dialectic of Aural and Objective Correlations,” & “Voice as a Summons for Belief.” The barbarian within: and other fugitive essays and studies. New York: Macmillan.

Ong, W. J. (1967).  “Word as Sound,” The presence of the word: Some prolegomena for religious and cultural history . New Haven, CN: Yale University Press.

Ong, W. J. (1971). “Rhetoric and the Origins of Consciousness,” Rhetoric, romance, and technology: Studies in the interaction of expression and culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

* Ong, W. J. (1982). “Psychodynamics of Orality,” & “Writing Restructures Consciousness,” Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London and New York: Methuen.

Paz, O. (1956). “Language,” The bow and the lyre: The poem, the poetic revelation, poetry and history. (R. L. C. Simms, Trans.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Percy, W. (1983). “The Fearful Self,” & “The Envious Self,” Lost in the cosmos: The last self-help book.  New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

* Percy, W. (1954). “The Delta Factor,” & “The Mystery of Language,” The message in the bottle: How queer man is, how queer language is, and what one has to do with the other. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Polanyi, M. (1966). “Tacit Knowing,” The tacit dimension. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

Polanyi, M., & Prosch, H. (1975).  “The Free Society,” Meaning.  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

* Postman N. (1978). “The Thermostatic View,” & “The First Curriculum,” Teaching as a conserving activity. New York: Delacorte Press.

Postman, N.  Word Weavers/World Makers???????

Postman, N. (1985). “Media as Epistemology,” Amusing ourselves to death: Public discourse and the age of show business. New York: Penguin Books.

Postman, N., & Weingartner, C. (1969). “Meaning Making,” Teaching as a subversive activity.  New York: Dell Publishing.

Radin, P. (1927). “The Higher Aspects of Primitive Thought,” Primitive man as philosopher. New York: Appleton.

Ricoeur, P. (1967). “Husserl and Wittgenstein on Language,” In E. N. Lee & M. Mandelbaum (Eds.). Phenomenology and existentialism, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.

Rifkin, J. (1989). Time Wars. New York: Touchstone Books

# Royce, J. (1967).  “Perception, Conception, and Interpretation,” The problem of Christianity: Lectures delivered at the Lowell institute in Boston, and at Manchester College.  Hamden, Conn. Archon Books.

Ruesch, J., & Bateson, G. (1951). Communication: The social matrix of psychiatry. New York: W. W. Norton.

Sartre, J. P. (1991). “Image, Portrait, Caricature,” & “The Sign and the Portrait,” The psychology of imagination. New York: Citadel Press Book.

Saul, J. R. (1992). “Individual–Life in a Box,” Voltaire’s bastards: The dictatorship of reason in the West.  New York: Free Press

Schrag, C. O. (1986). “The Texture of Communicative Praxis,” Communicative praxis and the space of subjectivity.  Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Shands, H. C. (1960). Thinking and psychotherapy: An inquiry into the process of communication. Cambridge, MA: Published for the Commonwealth Fund by Harvard University Press.

Shaw, I. (1978). “Characteristics of Attention and Observation,” & “Sufi Study Themes,” Learning to learn: Psychology and spirituality the Sufi way.  San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row.

Simmel, G. (1971). “The Stranger,” “The Poor,” & “The Miser and the Spendthrift,” On individuality and social forms. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Simmel, G. (1978). “Chapter 5, Part I,” The philosophy of money. New York: Routledge.

Sokolowski, R. (1974). “Parts and Wholes,” “Identity in Absence and Presence,” Husserlian meditations: How words present things.  Evanston, IL, Northwestern University Press.

* Sontag, S. (1973). “Imprisoning Reality,” On photography. New York: Anchor Books.

Stewart, J. (1995). “Part I,” Language as articulate contact: Toward a post- semiotic philosophy of communication. New York: SUNY Press.

Strate, L. (2008). “Studying Media as Media: McLuhan and the Media                 Ecological Approach.” MediaTropes eJournal Vol I 127–142

Straus, E. (1966). “Objectivity,” & “The Upright Posture,” Phenomenological psychology: The selected papers. New York: Basic Books.

Thayer, L. (1987).  “The Idea of Communication,” On communication: Essays in understanding.  New Jersey: Ablex Publishing.

* Thayer, L. (1997). “Explanation as Motive,” & “What Would a Theory of Communication be For?,” Pieces: Toward a revisioning of communication/life.  New Jersey: Ablex Publishing.

Thomas, L. (1974). “The Scrambler in the Mind,” The medusa and the snail: More notes of a biology watcher. New York: The Viking Press.

Urban, W. M. (1971). “Intelligible Communication: Its Nature and Conditions,” Language and reality: The philosophy of language and principles of symbolism. New York: Arno Press.

* Veblen, T. (1934). “Chapters 1-7,” The theory of the leisure class. New York: The Modern Library.

Volosinov, V. N. (1973). “Toward a Marxist Philosophy of Language,” Marxism and the philosophy of language. (L. Matejka & A. R. Titunik, Trans.).  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Von Forester, H. (1980). “Epistemology of Communication,” In K. Woodward (Ed). The myths of information: Technology and postindustrial culture. Madison, WI: Coda Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). “The Genetic Roots of Thought and Speech,” Thought and language. (E. Hanfmann & G. Vakar, Trans.).  M.I.T. Press.

Watkins, M. (1986). “Imagination as Reality,” Invisible guests: The development of imaginal dialogues. New York: The Analytic Press.

* Watts, A. (1951). “On Being Aware,” & “The Marvelous Moment,” The wisdom of insecurity: A message for the age of anxiety. New York: Vintage Books.

Watts, A. (1966). “The World is Your Body,” The book: On the taboo against knowing who you are.  New York: Vintage Books.

Watts, A. (1957). “Empty and Marvelous,” & “Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing,” The way of Zen. New York: Vintage Books

* Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J. H., & Jackson, D. D.  (1967). “Some Tentative Axioms of Communication,” Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Wheelis, A. (1966). “The Illusionless Man and The Visionary Maid,” The illusionless man: Fantasies and mediations. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

# Wilden, A. (1972). “Analog and Digital Communication,” System and structure: Essays in communication and exchange. London: Tavistock Publications.

Wilden, A. (1987). “Context Theory,” The Rules Are No Game.  New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Wittgenstein, L. (1958). “The Brown Book,” The blue and brown books: Preliminary  studies for the ‘Philosophical Investigation.’ New York: Harper & Row.