About this book
This book explores the role of television in the 1950s and early 1960s, with a focus on the relationship between Tories and TV. The early 1950s were characterized by recovery from war and high politics. Television was a new medium that eventually came to dominate mass media and political culture. But what impact did this transition have on political organization and elite power structures? Winston Churchill avoided it; Anthony Eden wanted to control it; Harold Macmillan tried to master it; and Alec Douglas-Home was not Prime Minister long enough to fully utilize it. The Conservative Party’s relationship with the new medium of television is a topic rich with scholarly questions and interesting quirks that were characteristic of the period. This exploration examines the changing dynamics between politics and the media, at grassroots and elite levels. Through analysing rich and diverse source materials from the Conservative Party Archive, Anthony Ridge-Newman takes a case study approach to comparing the impact of television at different points in the party’s history. In mapping changes across a thirteen year period of continual Conservative governance, this book argues that the advent of television contributed to the party’s transition from a membership-focused party to a television-centric professionalized elite.
Anthony Ridge-Newman is both a scholar and practitioner in media and politics. His teaching and research in this interdisciplinary field are based in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow, UK. In 2014 he published Cameron’s Conservatives and the Internet with Palgrave, which Alexander Smith, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick, endorsed as ‘breaking new ground’.
Conservatives Political organisation Winston Churchill Political culture Mass media