Winchell, by Neal Gabler
Surely for anyone born after World War II, the staccato-toned voice of the narrator of the television series The Untouchables is more familiar than the name of the man behind the voice: Walter Winchell.
Considering that Winchell was perhaps the most powerful gossip columnist of all time, and that in the 1930′s and 40′s he was an immensely influential political pundit, whose columns could be found in hundreds of newspapers across the country and whose voice was heard by over twenty million listeners on the radio every Sunday night, his disappearance from public memory has been astonishingly complete. Can his rise, fall, and subsequent oblivion tell us anything about the nature of the mass media, or about what Neal Gabler calls “the culture of celebrity”? These are questions that Gabler promises to address in his new biography.
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