Smoke and Mirrors (Hardcover)

By John Leonard

New Press, 9781565842267, 304pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 1997



In Smoke and Mirrors, John Leonard, one of the nation's leading media critics, offers a provocative challenge to conventional ideas about television. Instead of scapegoating television as the cause of crime in our streets, stupidity in our schools, and spectacle rather than substance in our government, Leonard sees something else inside the box: an echo chamber and a feedback loop, a medium neither wholly innocent of, nor entirely responsible for, the frantic disorder it brings to our homes.

Taking on topics from kid shows to cable, from the cheap thrills of action adventures to the solemn boredom of pledge drives, Leonard argues for a whole new way of thinking about television.

About the Author

John Leonard (1939-2008) is the author of The Last Innocent White Man in America and Smoke and Mirrors (both published by The New Press). He was editor of the New York Times Book Review, literary co-editor of The Nation, and now appeared weekly on CBS Sunday Morning and in New York.