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The New Entrepreneurs
An Institutional History of Television Anthology Writers
Jon Kraszewski

Wesleyan Film

2010 • 236 pp. 22 illus. 6 x 9"
Film, TV, Visual Culture / Media Studies

$40.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6946-2

$31.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7103-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"Kraszewski is able to show that his 'new entrepreneurs' did bring a surprising amount of liberal politics to television in the 1950s." —Kathy M. Newman, American Quarterly

How television writers thwarted the constraints of corporate culture in the 1950s and flourished

According to the sociologist C. Wright Mills in his 1951 book, White Collar: The American Middle Classes, the “new entrepreneur” was a lone wolf able to succeed in post–World War II corporate America by elusively meandering through various institutions. During this time, anthology writers such as Rod Serling, Reginald Rose, and Paddy Chayefsky achieved a level of creativity that has rarely been equaled on television since. Yet despite their success, anthology writers still needed to evade the constraints and censorship of 50s television in order to stay true to their creative powers and political visions. Thus they worked as new entrepreneurs who adapted their more controversial scripts for the Hollywood, Broadway, and book publishing industries. Even after the television networks cancelled their prestigious anthology series at the end of the 50s, the most resilient writers were able to redefine what it meant to be entrepreneurs by launching cutting-edge shows such as The Twilight Zone and The Defenders that are still popular today. The New Entrepreneurs includes detailed textual analysis of legendary, sometimes hard-to-find, television anthology scripts that have received only cursory glances in television history until now.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“The strength of The New Entrepreneurs lies in its careful research into the seldom-examined archives of individual television writers. … The New Entrepreneurs provides a welcome addition to early television history by recontextualizing some key figures in the celebrated developmental age of television.”—Joshua Gleich, Velvet Light Trap

“Kraszewski’s book presents a stunning new and complete vision of the Golden Age dramatists….The New Entrepreneurs achieves a rich perspective on this period—and on the analysis of media industries in general—through its synthesis of aesthetic, social-historical, and economic perspectives.” —Tom Kemper, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

“This impressive work of popular historiography employs trenchant empirical research to undergird the power and reach of its important argument about struggles for cultural control in 50s television. The New Entrepreneurs is authoritative in its capturing, in very concrete terms, what the writers actually did in fighting for their creative rights.”—Dana Polan, professor of cinema studies, NYU

“Jon Kraszewski provides a strikingly original account of television’s creative community in the 1950s. He shows how a cadre of skillful TV writers maintained creative autonomy by moving between and among media at a moment when a television/theater/art cinema matrix took form in New York’s art culture.”—Vance Kepley Jr., professor of film studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

JON KRASZEWSKI is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Seton Hall University.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:58:27 -0500