Foreword to the First Edition

Television producer and writer Norman Lear once told me, “When I’ve been most effective, I’ve listened to my inner voice.” Lear’s inner voice gave him the courage to transform television’s voice with his society-mocking domestic comedy All in the Family. Despite a string of impressive television successes, the raw texture of All in the Family made it a tough sell. But Lear was driven by a sense of mission on behalf of the entire country. His persistence paid off when CBS finally agreed to run the show.

Confident that one person can bring about big changes, Lear forced us to examine some of the most fetid prejudices that bubbled below the surface of society in the early 1970s. When All in the Family debuted, ...

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