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The Flip Wilson Show (TV Milestones Series) Paperback – January 9, 2008
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At long last, a book on the politics of 1970s television that moves beyond the well-known story of network struggles over relevance, a story in which the process of ideological containment often seems well nigh inevitable. This book is a tour de force of historical writing. Combining deep institutional research, stunning aesthetic analysis, and sophisticated theoretical framing, Sutherland paints a picture of the complex ambivalences, and political possibilities, enacted in the seemingly uncomplicated comedy-variety form. Her book gives us Flip Wilson in deep context, showing us his ties to old-school entertainments like minstrelsy and vaudeville while allowing us to wonder at his deep engagement with the future and the possibilities for political identity and its critique that television comedy makes possible. --Anna McCarthy, associate professor of cinema studies at New York University and co-editor of Social Text