Fifty Years of High-Risk TV
Alan Schroeder's popular history now covers the 2000 Bush-Gore and 2004 Bush-Kerry debates, including innovations in format and press coverage, and adds new research on televised debates since 1960. Schroeder organizes his book according to a television production timeline, highlighting the importance of pre- and postdebate periods, as well as the live telecasts themselves. He describes production in painstaking detail, from the selection of questioners to camera angles, from makeup to lighting and set design.
Televised debates represent a rare departure from well-choreographed campaigns, and new media such as YouTube continue to reshape form and content. Conducting interviews with journalists and industry insiders, and drawing on his own experience as an award-winning reporter and television producer, Schroeder delivers a fascinating backstage tour of every aspect of debate performance.
Schroeder's 'tour' is a good one, sparked by lively writing and an eye for telling details.
Alan Schroeder's book gives readers an illuminating and detailed behind-the-scenes look at the debates that have shaped recent American history.
Part I: Preproduction
Chapter One: The Predebate Debate
Chapter Two: Strategy and Preparation
Chapter Three: Predebate News Coverage
Part II: Production
Chapter Four: The Debaters
Chapter Five: The Questioners
Chapter Six: The Productions
Part III: Postproduction
Chapter Seven: Postdebate News Coverage
Chapter Eight: The Audience
Conclusion: The Future of Presidential Debates
Schedule of Televised Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates: 1960-1996