The Box: An Oral History of Television 1920-1961

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by Jeff Kisseloff

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More by Jeff Kisseloff

The Box: An Oral History of Television, 1920-1961

You Must Remember This: An Oral History of Manhattan from the 1890s to World War II

Guaranteed to keep you up long after prime time, The Box re-creates the old-time TV years through more than three hundred interviews with those who invented, manufactured, advertised, produced, directed, wrote, and acted in them. Their reminiscences are intertwined with a chronological narrative that tells the technological, business, and entertainment stories—from pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, through the Golden Age of comedy and drama, to FCC chairman Newt Minow's historic speech declaring television a “vast wasteland.”

Here are household names and fascinating unknowns, from the brilliant RCA scientists who flew paper airplanes off the Empire State Building, to Uncle Miltie, Edward R. Murrow, and Beaver's mom. You'll hear about the great pioneering stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, and the inside story from the people who fixed the quiz shows. This enormous treasury of sparkling memories and candid opinions truly breaks new ground in the history of television.

This new edition includes over 100 photos of people, events, and memorabilia!

“Wondrous... An oral scrapbook of the pioneering days of our video nation”
The New York Times Book Review

“Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay this popcorn page-turner is that it would make a terrific TV documentary.”

“The best book ever about the early days of America's most pervasive communication medium.”
Los Angeles Daily News

“A gossipy and profanely entertaining reality check by way of everyone from June Cleaver to Studs Terkel.”
The Boston Globe

“A tour de force... Readers will get a good perspective on the business.”
—Hugh Downs

L.A. Weekly

The Box is hilarious, tacky, screwball, and sublime—everything that TV itself has always been.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune


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