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The New Entrepreneurs: An Institutional History of Television Anthology
Writers
Jon Kraszewski

Wesleyan University Press, December 2010



According to the sociologist C. Wright Mills in his 1951 book *White Collar:
The American Middle Classes*, the “new entrepreneur” was a lone wolf able to
succeed in post–World War II corporate America by elusively meandering
through various institutions. During this time, anthology writers such as
Rod Serling, Reginald Rose, and Paddy Chayefsky achieved a level of
creativity that has rarely been equaled on television since. Yet despite
their success, anthology writers still needed to evade the constraints and
censorship of 50s television in order to stay true to their creative powers
and political visions. Thus they worked as new entrepreneurs who adapted
their more controversial scripts for the Hollywood, Broadway, and book
publishing industries.* *Even after the television networks cancelled their
prestigious anthology series at the end of the 50s, the most resilient
writers were able to redefine what it meant to be entrepreneurs by launching
cutting-edge shows such as *The Twilight Zone* and *The Defenders* that are
still popular today.* The New Entrepreneurs* includes detailed textual
analysis of legendary, sometimes hard-to-find, television anthology scripts
that have received only cursory glances in television history until now.

“This impressive work of popular historiography employs trenchant empirical
research to undergird the power and reach of its important argument about
struggles for cultural control in 50s television. *The New Entrepreneurs* is
authoritative in its capturing, in very concrete terms, what the writers
actually did in fighting for their creative rights.”
—Dana Polan, professor of cinema studies, NYU

“Jon Kraszewski provides a strikingly original account of television’s
creative community in the 1950s. He shows how a cadre of skillful TV writers
maintained creative autonomy by moving between and among media at a moment
when a television/theater/art cinema matrix took form in New York’s art
culture.”
—Vance Kepley Jr., professor of film studies, University of
Wisconsin–Madison

Jon Kraszewski is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication
at Seton Hall University.



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