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About the Author: Steve Allen

Stephen Valentine Patrick William "Steve" Allen was an American television personality, musician, actor, comedian, and writer. Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best-known for his television career. He first gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. He graduated to become the first host of The Tonight Show, where he was instrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show. Thereafter, he hosted numerous game and variety shows, including The Steve Allen Show, I've Got a Secret, The New Steve Allen Show, and was a regular panel member on CBS' What's My Line?

Allen was a "creditable" pianist, and a prolific composer, having penned over 14,000 songs, one of which was recorded by Perry Como and Margaret Whiting, others by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Les Brown, and Gloria Lynne. Allen won a Grammy award in 1963 for best jazz composition, with his song The Gravy Waltz. Allen wrote more than 50 books and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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Goodreads rating: 4.35

Paperback, Published in Sep 1989 by Prometheus Books

ISBN10: 0879755679 | ISBN13: 9780879755676

Page count: 168

The man who invented the television talk show surpassed even himself when he created Meeting of Minds, the award-winning series that captured America's imagination. These four volumes offer the original scripts from the series, including material edited from the broadcast versions that ran from 1977 to 1981 on PBS stations nationwide.

Many believe that Meeting of Minds is the most brilliant series ever to be written for television. The show provides a groundbreaking opportunity to be exposed to ideas by way of a medium not normally known for its intellectual vigor.

Indeed, Meeting of Minds grew out of Allen's frustration with the mediocrity of the average network program. He envisioned the show as a stimulating round-table discussion conducted like any other talk show - except that the participants would be actors portraying some of the greatest minds and most prominent figures of history. Accordingly, such characters as Aristotle, Catherine the Great, Oliver Cromwell, Emily Dickinson, Margaret Sanger, Gandhi, Thomas Paine, Cleopatra, Theodore Roosevelt, and St. Thomas Aquinas appear in startlingly effective juxtaposition, their characters revealed through brilliantly conceived dialogue.

This first volume features appearances by President Theodore Roosevelt, Queen Cleopatra, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Paine, President Ulysses S. Grant, Queen Marie Antoinette, Sir Thomas More, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Emily Dickinson, Galileo Galilei, and Attila the Hun.

The scripts for Meeting of Minds make for excellent reading, distilling an enormous amount of research into a lively format that has the undeniable veracity of historical fact. The result is unfailingly witty, thought-provoking, and geniunely entertaining.

Steve Allen's lucidity and fertile intelligence are evident on every page. Meeting of Minds remains one of the freshest, most delightful ways of gaining historical perspective ever devised, an incomparable tour de force with the power to make history come alive.

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