A Biography


The story of how – between 1948 and 2013 – the small screen changed us all, by one of the world’s most esteemed critics

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ISBN: 9780500519165 Category:

David Thomson


In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson’s stature delivering a critical history, or biography of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian, who wrote what Sight and Sound’s readers called the most important film book of the last 50 years, has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole.

Over 22 thematically organized chapters, Thomson brings his provocatively insightful and unique voice to the life of what was television. David Thomson surveying a Boschian landscape, illuminated by that singular glow always on and peopled by everyone from Donna Reed to Dennis Potter, will be the first complete history of the defining medium of our time.

Additional information

Weight 1315 g
Dimensions 18.7 x 25.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2016
Number of pages 416
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18.7 x 25.8 cm
Weight 1315 g


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David Thomson is a British film critic and historian based in the USA and the author of more than 20 books. His reference works in particular - Have You Seen...?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film - have been praised as works of high literary merit and eccentricity. John Banville called him 'the greatest living writer on the movies'.