Show Business: The Spreading Wasteland

In the golden days of the silver screen, the rest of the world had it pretty well figured out that the U.S. was cowboy-and-Indian country except for a patch of gang turf called Chicago, and that the populace was all Tom Mixes, Bogarts and Harlows. Now the world knows better: it realizes that the U.S. is, in fact, a vast Ponderosa peopled by dashing doctors and defense counsels and hard-nosed Combatants, all of whom love a dunderhead named Lucy. At a time when there are 1,400 times as many television sets (173 million) as...

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