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This book explores the evolution of Ireland's national television service during its first tumultuous decade, addressing how the medium helped undermine the conservative political, cultural and social consensus that dominated Ireland into the 1960s. It also traces the development of the BBC and ITA in Northern Ireland, considering how television helped undermine a state that had long governed without consensus.
Using a wide array of new archival sources and extensive interviews Savage illustrates how an increasingly confident television service upset political, religious and cultural elites who were profoundly uncomfortable with the changes taking place around them. Savage argues that during this period television was not a passive actor, but an active agent often times aggressively testing the limits of the medium and the patience of governments. Television helped facilitate a process of modernisation that slowly transformed Irish society during the 1960s.
This book will be essential for those interested in contemporary Irish political and cultural history and readers interested in media history, and cultural studies.
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Robert J. Savage is co-director of the Boston College Irish Studies Program and teaches in the Department of History
Savage's book won the 2010 James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prize for Best Book in History and the Social Sciences from the American Conference for Irish Studies.
The ACIS noted: Through the meticulous use of historical archives, careful engagement with secondary sources, and interviews with key figures, Savage demonstrates how television was an active agent in shaping the modernization of Ireland. The book is impressive in its scope that traces the affects of the same medium in the very different, but connected contexts of both northern and southern states as well as in its interdisciplinary appeal.
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