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Inside Prime Time Paperback – January 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, With a New Introduction edition (January 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520217853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520217850
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is very likely the most concentratedly intelligent book yet written about television. Gitlin immersed himself in the industry and yet somehow managed to preserve an independent, thoughtful viewpoint. The result is a delightfully concrete account of recent production from the inside which does not become captive of the usual trade assumptions." -- Ernest Callenbach, Film Quarterly

About the Author

Todd Gitlin is Professor of Culture, Journalism, and Sociology at New York University. His books include Sacrifice (1999), The Twilight of Common Dreams (1995), The Sixties (1987), and The Whole World Is Watching (California, 1980).

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on January 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in the early '80s, Inside Prime Time was long considered to be one of the quissential books to be written about the business about how a small group of insiders shaped American culture through television. The book has since become quite dated. Author Gitlin, best known as a former '60s radical and a co-founded of the SDS, is highly complimentary of what -- at that time -- was then the dominating creative forces on television, the socially relavent comedies of Norman Lear and the humanistic dramas -- like Lou Grant and the White Shadow -- that came out of MTM productions. As such, many of his predictions for the future of television would be blown out of the water by the advent of such comedies as Seinfeld and, to a lesser extent, less topical dramas like ER and the rise of HBO programming like the Sopranos, OZ, and Larry Sanders Show. That being said, the book still remains an interesting look at how television shows were sold and produced during the '70s and '80s and his argument that television is essentially controlled by a network of "insiders" and "social friends" who go out of their way to prevent any outsiders from getting a hold in their industry (and therefore prevent anything new or unusual from reaching the screen) remains relavent and, probably, accurate. Less succesful are Gitlin's attempts to argue that the entertainment industry, despite all appearances to the contrary, is actually a right-wing institution with a strong Republican bias. In these chapters, it appears that Gitlin allows his own political feelings to get in the way of serious scholarship and his own rather paranoid prediction that the then-recent election of Ronald Reagan would somehow lead to an artistic wasteland on television have since been descredited.Read more ›
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More About the Author

I've published fifteen books, including, most recently, Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street; The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election (with Liel Leibovitz); The Bulldozer and the Big Tent: Blind Republicans, Lame Democrats, and the Recovery of American Ideals; other titles include The Intellectuals and the Flag; Letters to a Young Activist; Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Inside Prime Time; The Whole World Is Watching; Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author); three novels, Undying, Sacrifice and The Murder of Albert Einstein; and a book of poetry, Busy Being Born. These books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. I also edited Watching Television and Campfires of the Resistance.

I've contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Wilson Quarterly, Harper's, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, New York Observer, The American Prospect, et al.), online magazines (salon.com, tnr.com, prospect.org, openDemocracy.net, foreignpolicy.com), as well as scholarly journals. I'm on the editorial board of Dissent.

In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes. The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

I hold degrees from Harvard University (B. A., mathematics), the University of Michigan (M. S., political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph. D., sociology). I was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, I was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press. In 2003-06, I was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.

I'm a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, I was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, I held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. I've been a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a Bosch Fellow at the American Academy of Berlin, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia, and the Université de Neuchatel in Switzerland.

I lecture frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Switzerland). I've appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. I lives in New York City with my wife, Laurel Cook.


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