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- DescriptionLooking back at postwar US history, it seems that a telethon accompanied every social ill, disability, disease, and natural disaster. A unique combination of entertainment and charity, this form of fundraising became a fixture in American life t long after NBC broadcast the first one, hosted by Milton Berle, in 1949. Conceived specifically for the new medium of television, the telethon-a portmanteau of television and marathon -became the fundraising vehicle of choice for the nation's leading charitable organizations. Marshaling two decades' worth of painstaking research, Telethons provides the first cultural history of the popular phemen. It charts the rise of the telethon as a result of five influential charities (most tably, the Muscular Dystrophy Association) and profiles the key figures-philanthropists, politicians, celebrities, corporate sponsors, and recipients-involved. The book also serves as a chronicle of disabilty history in the postwar US, as Longmore shows the changing depiction of the disabled-from objects of pity in the Fifties and Sixties to figures of empowerment in the late twentieth century. A significant portion of the book analyzes the various clashes between telethon-producing charities and activists in the disability rights movement that have become increasingly frequent since the 1970s. Throughout, Telethons explores familiar staples of the genre such as poster children, the comedic emcee, and the concept of conspicuous contribution.
- Author BiographyPaul K. Longmore, until his death in 2009, was Professor of History at San Francisco State. His books include The Invention of George Washington. Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability, and the coedited volume, The New Disability History: American Perspectives.
- Author(s)Paul K. Longmore
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication18/02/2016
- SubjectSocial Issues, Services & Welfare
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Content Note15 illustrations
- Weight662 g
- Width163 mm
- Height240 mm
- Spine24 mm
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