Smooth Operator

Friday, March 10, 2006


For years, even when it was a near monopoly, AT&T managed to do the impossible with a surprising degree of success. It managed to convince us that a huge corporation could be our friend. But despite its pioneering command of public relations, its omnipotence was never far from view. Claude Fischer, author of A Social History of the Telephone, and Lily Tomlin's erstwhile operator Ernestine guide Brooke through a century of the long arm of Ma Bell.

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