The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History
The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History is a non-fiction book about the American animated television series The Simpsons. It was written by John Ortved, and first published in October 2009 by Faber and Faber. In the United Kingdom, the book is called Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it. The book is an oral history of the show, and concentrates particularly on the writers and producers of the show. The book includes entire chapters devoted to key figures such as creator Matt Groening and James L. Brooks and Sam Simon, who helped develop the series. According to National Public Radio reviewer Linda Holmes, "Ortved's thesis, essentially, is that lots of people are responsible for the success of The Simpsons, and their creator, Matt Groening, has too often been viewed as the sole source to the detriment of others who also deserve to be praised."In 2007, John Ortved wrote an article for Vanity Fair titled "Simpson Family Values". Producers of the show, including Groening, Brooks and Simon, chose not to cooperate in the project. Ortved believes that the reason was because "were upset [that] the myth of The Simpsons would be challenged." Shortly after the article was published, an agent suggested that Ortved write a full book. The producers again decided not to participate, and, according to Ortved, Brooks asked current and former Simpsons employees not to talk to Ortved. However, the book does include portions of interviews that several figures did with other sources. Ortved did interview a number of sources for the book, including Hank Azaria, a cast member of the show since the second season, Fox Broadcasting Company owner Rupert Murdoch and former writer Conan O'Brien.
Reviews of the book were mostly positive, with most reviewers commenting that the book was well researched and provided a solid history of the show. Critics felt that the final chapters, in which Ortved gives his opinion of the current state of the show, were out of place and did not fit in with the rest of the book.
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