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The West Wing: The American Presidency As…
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The West Wing: The American Presidency As Television Drama (The Television…

by Peter C. Rollins

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This book is a collection of mostly academic papers on the television show The West Wing. The book was published in 2003, and the show didn't end until 2006, so it only concerns the first few seasons. It would be interesting to know how different the essays would be if considering the series as a whole, and it would also be interesting to know if the book had any influence on the direction of the series.

I love the show, so my reading is biased. Some essays are more favorable to the show than others. Of the criticisms, I agree with some and some I don't agree with. Several of the essays made the point that the characters in the show weren't subject to as much jockeying for power and position as real White House staffers are, and I think that's valid. However, I also think part of Aaron Sorkin's idea for the series is to present an idealized model that could inspire future generations of leaders.

The book is divided into four sections: Focusing on the Issues (four essays), Language and Structure in the West Wing (four essays), Perception of the West Wing (three essays), Critical Responses: West Wing Press Reviews (three essays), plus a Bibliographic Overview. There is one index for the book as a whole.

Probably only of interest if you are a fan of the show and a bit wonkish. ( )
  reannon | Aug 19, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081563031X, Paperback)

Informed by historical scholarship and media analysis, this book takes a critical look at this award-winning show from a wide range of perspectives.

Eminent scholars Peter C. Rollins and John O'Connor make an important contribution to the field with an eclectic mix of essays, which translate visual language into on-screen politics. While the series may be criticized as "idealistic," its clever techniques of camera work, lighting, editing, and mise en scene reflect America's best image of itself, and entertains a loyal audience that desperately wants to believe in the nobility of the American dream. This collection introduces readers to the sensibilities to appreciate the show's nuances and the necessary knowledge to avoid any misreadings. It will be of interest to students of politics, popular culture, fans and critics alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:43 -0400)

Eminent scholars Peter C. Rollins and John O'Connor make an important contribution to the field with an eclectic mix of essays, which translate visual language into on-screen politics. While the series may be criticized as "idealistic," its clever techniques of camera work, lighting, editing, and mise en scene reflect America's best image of itself, and entertains a loyal audience that desperately wants to believe in the nobility of the American dream. This collection introduces readers to the sensibilities to appreciate the show's nuances and the necessary knowledge to avoid any misreadings. It will be of interest to students of politics, popular culture, fans and critics alike.… (more)

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