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Author McCarthy, Anna, 1967-

Title The citizen machine : governing by television in 1950s America / Anna McCarthy

Publ Info New York : New Press, 2010
 CCRI-Warwick  PN1992.6 .M3775 2010    AVAILABLE
 RWU Main Library  PN1992.6 .M3775 2010    AVAILABLE
 URI  PN1992.6 .M3775 2010    AVAILABLE
Descript xv, 334 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (p.261-324) and index
Contents Television and political culture after World War Two -- Sponsors and citizens -- The politics of wooden acting -- The ends of the middlebrow -- Liberal media -- Labor goes public
Note This is the untold political history of television's formative era. The author, an historian, goes behind the scenes of early television programming, revealing that producers, sponsors, and scriptwriters had far more in mind than simply entertaining (and selling products). Long before the age of PBS, leaders from business, philanthropy, and social reform movements as well as public intellectuals were all obsessively concerned with TV's potential to mold the right kind of citizen. After World War II, inspired by the perceived threats of Soviet communism, class war, and racial violence, members of what was then known as "the Establishment" were drawn together by a shared conviction that television broadcasting could be a useful tool for governing. The men of Du Pont, the AFL-CIO, the Advertising Council, the Ford Foundation, the Fund for the Republic, and other organizations interested in shaping (according to American philosopher Mortimer Adler) "the ideas that should be in every citizen's mind," turned to TV as a tool for reaching those people they thought of as the masses. Based on years of archival work, this work sheds new light on the place of television in the postwar American political landscape. At a time when TV broadcasting is in a state of crisis, and when a new political movement for media reform has ascended the political stage, here is a new history of the ideas and assumptions that have profoundly shaped not only television, but our political culture itself
LC subject Television and politics -- United States
Television broadcasting -- Social aspects -- United States
Television broadcasting -- Philosophy
Political culture -- United States
Advocacy advertising -- United States
Television advertising -- United States
Television viewers -- United States -- Attitudes
ISBN 9781595584984 (alk. paper)
1595584986 (alk. paper)