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The Tories and Television, 1951-1964

Broadcasting an Elite

The Tories and Television, 1951-1964 by Anthony Ridge-Newman
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This book explores the role of television in the 1950s and early 1960s, with a focus on the relationship between Tories and TV. The early 1950s were characterized by recovery from war and high politics. Television was a new medium that eventually came to dominate mass media and political culture. But what impact did this transition have on political organization and elite power structures? Winston Churchill avoided it; Anthony Eden wanted to control it; Harold Macmillan tried to master it; and Alec Douglas-Home was not Prime Minister long enough to fully utilize it. The Conservative Party’s relationship with the new medium of television is a topic rich with scholarly questions and interesting quirks that were characteristic of the period. This exploration examines the changing dynamics between politics and the media, at grassroots and elite levels. Through analysing rich and diverse source materials from the Conservative Party Archive, Anthony Ridge-Newman takes a case study approach to comparing the impact of television at different points in the party’s history. In mapping changes across a thirteen year period of continual Conservative governance, this book argues that the advent of television contributed to the party’s transition from a membership-focused party to a television-centric professionalized elite.

Palgrave Macmillan UK; November 2016
175 pages; ISBN 9781137562548
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Title: The Tories and Television, 1951-1964
Author: Anthony Ridge-Newman
 
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9781137562531
9781137562548