On the Wire

Product Details
Duke University Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.1 X 0.6 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author
Linda Williams is Professor of Film Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Screening Sex and Porn Studies, both also published by Duke University Press; Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O. J. Simpson; Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film; and Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible." In 2013, Williams received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
"On the Wire is a readable, rigorously argued account of HBO's seminal series. . . . Williams is noted for being a top scholar in film and media studies, but On the Wire demonstrates that above all else she is a passionate fan of the series. In order to explain why she loves it so much, and why it has impacted American culture with such force, she's written a must-read book for everyone who believes that The Wire is life-changing fiction of the highest order."--Jon Lisi "PopMatters"
"Linda Williams's book revolutionizes the ways we approach the series. Hers is a provocative, productive analysis that makes an essential contribution to the sociology of television: not only how to think of television as social force but its own ability to constitute sociological investigation."--Dana Polan "Film Quarterly"
"By tying The Wire's forcefulness to its televisual and melodramatic nature, On The Wire reveals that however exceptional, this show can also be a model. As such, this book modestly saves the series from monumentality."--Nathan Holmes "Critical Inquiry"
"Williams' s study... provides a view of The Wire that is often illuminating and surprising..."--Stanley Corkin "Journal of American Studies" (11/1/2015 12:00:00 AM)
"As an avid fan of the series The Wire, Linda Williams's book was a thoroughly interesting read. ... In each section, the author skillfully weaves the storyline from episodes into her argument in a believable and defensible fashion. ... Williams's volume offers a unique perspective on a beloved series."--Amy Muckleroy Carwile "Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly" (12/1/2015 12:00:00 AM)
"On The Wire is an ambitious study that makes an original, compelling argument about a series on which much has already been written. The questions Williams sets out in the early part of her monograph both pay tribute to The Wire and make clear that she is willing to probe the assumptions often made about it. ...Pushing back against the critical consensus, On The Wire is not just an original study of its chosen series but also a model for how we should think about contemporary television more generally."--George Potts "Critical Quarterly" (7/1/2015 12:00:00 AM)
"Williams's On The Wire is a fascinating text. Whether she is lauding the series for its capacity to ruffle certain cinematic conventions and assumptions about race and class or criticizing the show for its diminished gender politics (e.g., blaming the single black mother), her analysis is coherent, trenchant, and provocative. ... For those interested in the series and those interested more generally in film and media studies, American culture, and the intersection of race and class, On The Wire will be an enjoyable and provocative read."--Joseph Winters "African American Review" (12/1/2014 12:00:00 AM)
"On The Wire is not only an important work for any study of The Wire, but is also an important offering for television scholarship. Furthermore, On The Wire provides strong analysis of the role of melodrama in society, and establishes an illuminating vocabulary for depictions of race in popular culture." --Alex Moran "49th Parallel"