Books by Glenn C. Altschuler

NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"So dry at times that the reader may worry whether rock is truly dead. But an informative depiction of the early sound and fury all the same."
A slender academic treatment of rock music as a cultural, political, and historical force. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2000

" A substantial, valuable study. (22 b&w illustrations)"
Altschuler (Changing Channels, 1992) and Blumin (History/Cornell) debunk the supposed "golden era" of American electoral Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 1992

Two academicians tune in to TV Guide and assess how well everyone's favorite boob-tube digest, which boasts the highest circulation in publishing history (about 20 million copies sold weekly), has tuned in to America. Grossvogel (Comparative Literature/Cornell) has done this sort of highbrow/pop-culture analysis before, in Dear Ann Landers (1987); here, he teams with Altschuler (American Studies/Cornell). The profs work well together. Their premise is obvious—that TV Guide mirrors the changing values of its readership—but it's fascinating nonetheless to see how the magazine's 40-year history perfectly conforms to that of the nation. Born in the Eisenhower/Father Knows Best years, TV Guide began with sanitized puff pieces on the stars (no divorce, alcohol, or sex). In the 60's and 70's, it grew self-consciously cynical, skewering celebrities with tough profiles by Dick Gehman and Edith Efron. The 1988 purchase by Rupert Murdoch turned back the clock, and now TV Guide offers a sexed-up version of its 50's cream-puff diet. Along with this history, the authors track the magazine's record on three social issues: feminism, civil rights, and treatment of the news. Despite founder Walter H. Annenberg's reputation as an archconservative, Grossvogel and Altschuler find TV Guide to be ``complex, occasionally confused, and even self-contradictory'' in its political positions. By dishing up celebrity gossip on a scholarly platter, this deserves the guilty-pleasure-of-the-month award. One of the better highbrow studies of pop Americana. (Eight photographs and three linecuts.) Read full book review >