In My Pilgrim's Progress, George W. S. Trow gives us a brilliantly original and provocative look at what's happened to America in our time -- a guided tour of the media, the politics, and the personalities of the last half-century by one of ou In My Pilgrim's Progress, George W. S. Trow gives us a brilliantly original and provocative look at what's happened to America in our time -- a guided tour of the media, the politics, and the personalities of the last half-century by one of our most persuasive social critics.
This new book by the author of Within the Context of No Context might be subtitled "A son of Roosevelt reads newspapers, goes to the movies, watches television, and tells us how 1950 got to be 1998." Trow takes 1950 as the year the Old World gave way to the New: Winston Churchill had just been named The Man of the Half-Century by Time magazine; George Bernard Shaw was still alive, and so was William Randolph Hearst. But before the next half-decade was out, the world represented by these powerful old men had disappeared.
To illustrate his points, Trow takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the New York Times of February 1950, from the thundering front pages where the terror of the H-bomb is making its first appearance to the early, sketchy, amateur television listings. He finds a piece of Television Personality Reportage in the paper -- a kind of proto-People magazine profile -- of the TV "hostess" and "guest" Faye Emerson, and notes: "As to World War II, the Germans lost, and Faye Emerson won."
The son of a tabloid journalist from an old New York brownstone family, Trow was brought up in the Deepest Roosevelt Aesthetic -- half FDR and half Walter Winchell. But he soon succumbed to the spell of Dwight David Eisenhower and the extraordinary/ordinary qualities of Ike's era. It is the thrust of Trow's book that both the Roosevelt authority and the Ike decencies are completely gone -- and where are they now that we need them more than ever? ...Continua Nascondi