(Photo credit: Penguin. The image above shows characters from the television programme Sesame Street holding up letters which spell out the title of the book: Street Gang: the complete history of Sesame Street)
One evening in early 1966 a group of friends were gathered at a Manhattan dinner party, where the conversation turned to a subject a number of them had been thinking about: why couldn’t television be used to teach children?
Suddenly one of the most influential and durable shows in the history of broadcasting was born.
Sesame Street is the longest-running-and arguably most beloved- children’s television program ever created. Today, it reaches some six million preschoolers weekly in the United States and countless others in 140 countries around the world.
Street Gang is the compelling, comical, and inspiring story of a media masterpiece and pop- culture landmark.
Television reporter and columnist Michael Davis – with the complete participation of Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the show’s founders – unveils the idealistic personalities, decades of social and cultural change, stories of compassion and personal sacrifice, and miraculous efforts of writers, producers, directors, and puppeteers that together transformed an empty soundstage into the most recognisable block of real estate in television history.
It traces the evolution of the show from its inspiration in the civil rights movement through its many ups and downs – from Nixon trying to cut off its funding to the rise of Elmo – via the remarkable personalities who have contributed to it.
Michael Davis reveals how Sesame Street taught millions of children not only their letters and numbers, but also cooperation and fair play, tolerance and self-respect, conflict resolution, and the importance of listening.
You can find further details of Street Gang on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.