A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars


From the preeminent historian of comedy, an expansive history of show business and the battles over culture that have echoed through the decades and changed the United States


ISBN: 9781419760983 Category:

Kliph Nesteroff


There is a common belief that we live in unprecedented times, that people are too sensitive today, that nobody objected to the actions of actors, comedians, and filmmakers in the past. Modern pundits would have us believe that Americans of a previous generation had tougher skin and seldom complained. But does this argument hold up to scrutiny?
In Outrageous, celebrated cultural historian Kliph Nesteroff demonstrates that Americans have been objecting to entertainment for nearly two hundred years, sometimes rationally, often irrationally. Likewise, powerful political interests have sought to circumvent the arts using censorship, legal harassment, and outright propaganda. From Mae West through Johnny Carson, Amos ‘n’ Andy through Beavis and Butt-Head, Outrageous chronicles the controversies of American show business and the ongoing attempts to change what we watch, read, and listen to.

Additional information

Weight 550 g
Dimensions 16.1 x 23.7 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 1 February 2024
Number of pages 356
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.1 x 23.7 cm
Weight 550 g


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Kliph Nesteroff has been called the “premier popular historian of comedy,” by the New York Times. He is the author of two previous books, The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy and We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans and Comedy. His work has been praised by comedy legends from Gilbert Gottfried to Mel Brooks, Fred Willard to Norm Macdonald.