Few American television series are as deeply entrenched in twentieth-century popular culture as M*A*S*H, a Korean War medical comedy characterized by its dark tone and finesse in tackling serious social and political issues. By the end of its run, M*A*S*H had been a mainstream hit for several seasons and won fourteen Emmys, leading it to be called, "the most popular pre-Seinfeld series in television history." In this comprehensive study of M*A*S*H, David Scott Diffrient analyzes the series' contextual issues such as its creation, reception, and circulation as well as textual issues like its formal innovations, narrative strategies, and themes.
The book is published by Wayne State University Press.
"Among the most beloved programs ever produced in the history of American television, M*A*S*H has been the subject of countless books, articles, and reviews. This critical survey by David Scott Diffrient offers a well-researched and historically grounded assessment of a show whose influence on the larger popular culture is beyond dispute. The author's delight with
"As both detractors and extollers of the small screen admit, separating American culture from television culture is not easily done. In offering us a kind of "thick description" (as ethnographer Clifford Geertz might deem it) of M*A*S*H, David Scott Diffrient's monograph has much to say about both. With wonderful clarity and deep knowledge of both film and TV, he tells us just about everything scholars, students, and fans might want to about this quintessential black comedy while at the same time providing unexpected insights into its historical context." (David Lavery, founding editor of Critical Studies in Television)
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