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Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American by Thomas Doherty

By Thomas Doherty

Conventional knowledge holds that tv was once a co-conspirator within the repressions of chilly conflict the United States, that it was once a facilitator to the blacklist and handmaiden to McCarthyism. yet Thomas Doherty argues that, during the impact of tv, the USA truly turned a extra open and tolerant position. even if many books were written approximately this era, Cold conflict, Cool Medium is the one one to ascertain it in the course of the lens of tv programming.

To the unjaded viewership of chilly battle the United States, the tv set used to be no longer a harbinger of highbrow degradation and ethical decay, yet an exciting new loved ones equipment able to bringing the wonders of the realm at once into the house. The "cool medium" permeated the lives of each American, quick changing into the most strong cultural forces of the 20 th century. whereas tv has usually been blamed for spurring the increase of Senator Joseph McCarthy, it was once additionally the nationwide level upon which the United States witnessed -- and finally welcomed -- his downfall. during this provocative and nuanced cultural heritage, Doherty chronicles essentially the most interesting and ideologically charged episodes in tv historical past: the warm-hearted Jewish sitcom The Goldbergs; the subversive risk from I Love Lucy; the sermons of Fulton J. Sheen on Life Is worthy Living; the anticommunist sequence I Led three Lives; the mythical jousts among Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy on See It Now; and the hypnotic, 188-hour political spectacle that used to be the Army-McCarthy hearings.

By rerunning the courses, freezing the frames, and studying among the traces, Cold conflict, Cool Medium paints an image of chilly struggle the United States that belies many black-and-white clichés. Doherty not just info how the blacklist operated in the tv but in addition how the exhibits themselves struggled to defy it, arguing that tv used to be preprogrammed to augment the very freedoms that McCarthyism tried to curtail.

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