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Tube: The Invention of Television Paperback – Sep 17 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (Sept. 17 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005364
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,882,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on May 17 2004
Format: Paperback
To those seeking an introduction to television history, it may initially seem like an accurate book. First impressions can be deceiving.
What TUBE gains in advertising space, it lacks in accuracy. To a reader with sufficient previous background, it will appear to have been written and researched on the quick, and it comes to several misleading conclusions that evolve into outright fabrication. The authors do not seem to know how to get out of corners they carelessly write themselves into. They seem only too willing to make judgements on technologies and events which they clearly have not fully researched. There are simply too many outstanding errors for Tube to be a dependable reference for historians.
Let's hope if Tube has been reprinted, that the Fishers have done more background research, and have fixed the recurring 'boo-boos' that troubled the version I read.
A 2nd edition (with corrections) or even an enclosed 'errata' page is long overdue. Call me cynical, but I strongly suspect that the errors would happily be carried through to further printings, (if this has not occurred already). I do not recognize the new cover, but I expect it is simply a paperback version of the earlier hardcover with no content changes.
This may seem strong, but the more knowledge you amass about TV History from reputable sources, the more frustrated you will become with Tube.
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Format: Paperback
This fine work has many of the qualities of a suspense novel, and is probably one of the best books of its kind ever written. It is written with a heart, and the reader easily feels what some of its subjects endured in this fascinating tale of the development and evolution of television, and later, color television. After this read, the reader will want to immediately order the equally excellent book about the development of HDTV by Joel Brinkley.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An accessible history of television technology May 2 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Tube is easily the most accessible history of television's early years (its "prehistory"), and a good read to boot. The great Zworykin/Farnsworth technology battle is pretty well presented, and the men themselves come alive in the text. Color television's development gets easily the best treatment I've seen anywhere in the non-technical press. However, the final chapter on the future of television was mostly worthless; historians (along with most of the rest of us) do not do well in predicting the future. In a few years that chapter probably will be seen as an embarassment which the rest of the book does not deserve
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cigars all around for a first-rate book Jan. 7 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Lively, intelligent, thoroughly researched, Tube is the best history of its kind available. The grousings of certain Farnsworth zealots notwithstanding, the countrified genius of television finally gets his due in this volume. A great read
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Close, but no cigar. Dec 30 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Tube" is a scholarly rendering of a fascinating, important,
but largely untold piece of history. Unfortunately, the
authors failed to search beneath the surface of the
surviving historical record to find the true facts, and have
instead reiterated a false accounting that has been preserved
by more than than 60 years of corporate public relations.

"Tube" repeats oft cited historical record that "Vladimir
Zworykin became 'the father of television' when he invented
as device called the "iconoscope" while working for RCA in 1923."
That is a single sentence that manages to embody about four historical

What's worse, repeating this false litany obscures one of
the most amazing achievements of the 20th century: that
television as we know it emerged whole from the mind of a
14 year old farm boy named Philo T. Farnsworth. The
Fishers' book recognizes Farnsworth, but fails to differentiate
his achievement from that of Zworykin, or to examine the
patent record deeply enough to unveil the true magnitude
of Farnsworth's contribution.

Philo T. Farnsworth paved the way for today's living room
dreams, but the Fishers' book treats his contribution no
better than dozens of volumes that precede it. For the true
story, read "The Farnsworth Chronicles" on the web at


--Paul Schatzkin
Fast shipping Oct. 16 2013
By Jose N Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, used it for a research paper and it has everything I need it. It goes into a lot of details on how the television was created, by whom, when, and how.
Just what I was looking for Jan. 5 2013
By Richard C. Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has just the right amount of history and just the right amount of detail to keep you interested. I have an electronics background, but some books can still get too deep to be of interest to me. This one is just right. After reading this book you will have an understanding and a hatred of RCA's dishonesty and backstabbing.

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