Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Television: An International History Edited by Anthony Smith

Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Television: An International History Edited by Anthony Smith

Article excerpt

Smith, Anthony, ed. Television: Am International History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 419 pp. $49.95.

What a terrific assembly of contributors to document an international story of television] Seventeen highly credentialed and diversified professional practicing media experts accurately and vividly tell a newly illustrated world-wide account of television. There are so many outstanding features in this book that the few omissions (and there are a few), whether by design or otherwise, are overshadowed by the book's strengths.

Actually, Television: An International History does not omit any subject that is crucial in telling the phenomenal growth and success of the visual medium. The authors' dedication and detailed narrative makes reading (and studying) come alive. The intention of the book to "offer the reader a broad account of the ways in which television has evolved" is convincingly articulated. The thoroughness and meticulous editing keep the reader moving to the next section.

The book is divided appropriately into four parts. Part one, "Origins and Institutions," tells of the discoveries and inventions, the unbelievable beginnings of the medium, and how television would be used in the various countries. Part two, "Forms and Genres, Non-Fiction, Sports, and Political Ceremony and Instant History," deals with drama, entertainment, world events, personalities and "construction of public life and the pageant of public events." This section is confusing because of the cited examples and illustrations, and the reader is left with a feeling of uncertainty and of sameness.

Part three, "Television and Society," discusses the social impact and influences in "personal, family, and national life. …

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