Can We Talk?: The Power and Influence of Talk Shows

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Insight Books, 1996 - Social Science - 329 pages
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Can We Talk? The Power and Influence of Talk Shows explores the talk show genre and how it affects society. Dr. Scott, a noted expert on social issues and a sometime radio talk show host, provides a savvy overview of how and why today's talk shows and their hosts have become so controversial, compelling, and powerful (especially if they own part or all of their own show). The first half of the book focuses on radio talk shows, the second on television talk shows. These two sections start with detailed histories of how talk shows began with the birth of each of these media over a half century ago. Subsequent chapters highlight the big movers and shakers in these arenas, with brief looks at how top hosts, e.g., Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Larry King, Howard Stern, David Letterman, and Rush Limbaugh, found professional and financial success. Can We Talk? is a remarkably fair and balanced look at a profit-driven industry for which critics and supporters have become adversarial in arguing their competing claims, such as advocating free speech and free markets versus upholding social and community values. Anyone interested in talk shows and their impact on society, as well as social scientists, behavior therapists, and psychologists, will benefit from Dr. Scott's incisive comments as a social scientist, host, and panelist.

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About the author (1996)

Gini Graham Scott, PhD, is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and workshop leader, specializing in business and work relationships and professional and personal development. She is the founder of Changemakers Publishing and Writing, has published over fifty books on diverse subjects, and has received national media exposure for her books. Visit her online at and

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