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New Books in French Studies Podcast

Histoire de la télévision sous de Gaulle by Jérôme Bourdon

December 03, 2015
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Listen to Roxanne Panchasi's latest podcast, in which she interviews Jérôme Bourdon about the revised version of his book that first appeared in 1990. Read Dr. Panchasi's summary below, and check out the podcast on the NBFS website.

Bourdon explores the historiography of the medium in the years since the book's original publication. A history of television that is also a history of the De Gaulle presidency and the early years of the Fifth Republic, Histoire de la télévision sous de Gaulle examines a range of issues, from government legislation to programming and content, to the variety of personnel (directors, producers, technicians, administrators) who made television happen during this "era of professionalization". Exploring the medium as both information and entertainment, the book considers the relationship between television and the cinema, situating television within the broader cultural and political history of France during this critical period. Covering key events and turning points, including the introduction of a second channel in 1964 and a key directors' strike in 1965, the book also charts the years leading up to 1968 in France, exploring the impact that TV and les événements had upon one another.

This new edition considers the history of TV in light of the technological and cultural developments of the last twenty-five years (reality TV, the Internet) and the new (especially audiovisual) archival material available to researchers of television's past in France. Bringing together the analysis of government policy, culture, and labour, the book is vital reading for anyone interested in the history of the French media and/or the Fifth Republic's crucial first decade.

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