EW Staff
December 22, 1995 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Vanishing Vision: This Inside Story of Public Television James Day (University of California Press, $29.95) Politicians trying to dismantle public television had better be careful: Right after Nixon tried to slash its budget, his impeachment hearings became its major topic. Vanishing Vision is both a history of public TV and a prescription for restoring it to health. Day, a founder of San Francisco’s KQED and later president of National Educational Television and New York’s WNET, is too elitist to admit that cable and broadcast TV are sometimes as high-minded as public television. But he’s clear-sighted about PBS’s low points and justifiably proud of its high moments (like when the network stood ground against a major funder, Mobil Oil, which tried to censor a program about Saudi culture). An outsider might have written a more balanced history, but this inside personal view is valuable nonetheless. A-D.A. Ball

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