Providing video companionship for isolated housewives, afternoon babysitting for children, and nonstop evening entertainment for the whole family, television revolutionized American society in the post-World War II years. Helping the first TV generation make sense of the new medium was the mission of Jack Gould, television critic of The New York Times from 1947 to 1972. In columns noteworthy for crisp writing, pointed insights, and fair judgment, he highlighted both the untapped possibilities and the imminent perils of television, becoming “the conscience of the industry” for many people.
In this book, historian Lewis L. Gould, Jack Gould’s son, collects over seventy of his father’s best columns. Grouped topically, they cover a wide range of issues, including the Golden Age of television drama, McCarthy-era blacklisting, the rise and fall of Edward R. Murrow, quiz show scandals, children’s programming, and the impact of television on American life and of television criticism on the medium itself. Lewis Gould also supplies a brief biography of his father that assesses his influence on the evolution of television, as well as prefaces to each section.
Lewis L. Gould has appeared on “Howdy Doody,” “The CBS Morning News,” and “The ABC World News Tonight.” A resident of Austin, Texas, he is an internationally recognized scholar of American political history and commentator on the role of First Ladies.