During the 1920s and 1930s, the rising popularity of radio prompted subtle but significant changes in how Americans conducted public business and conceived of their community. In this text, the author offers a detailed examination of the role of radio within political culture between 1920 and 1940 - the golden age of radio - when it commanded huge national audiences without competition from television. The volume builds upon a wide variety of sources: two major NBC manuscript collections, government documents, papers from the Republican and Democratic parties, broadcasters' memoirs, newpapers, magazines and the writings on interwar radio enthusiasts, sociologists and political scientists. Douglas B. Craig begins by covering the development of radio and its evolution into a commercialized, networked and regulated industry. He then focuses on how the new medium was used by the two major parties in their national contests between 1924 and 1940, examining radio in political campaigns and debates from the perspectives of the networks, the parties and listeners.
Finally, Craig broadens the argument to encompass interwar notions of citizenship and good taste and their effect on radio broadcasting and its chief actors. He also compares the American experience of broadcasting and political culture with that of Australia, Britain and Canada. The book offers an account of the ways radio metamorphosed into a medium of political action - a force that affected campaigning, governing and even ideas of citizenship and civility.
An impressively researched and useful study... Craig subtly winds his interpretive, critical thread of the unfulfilled promise of radio as an engine of a more expansive democracy into a larger narrative about the institutional and ideological sway of commercial radio interests. -- Brett Gary Journal of American History Douglas Craig's main goal was to write a political history of radio broadcasting in the United States before World War II; however, he has also succeeded in producing the best general study yet published on the development of radio broadcasting during this crucial period when key institutional and social patterns were established. -- Hugh R. Slotten Technology and Culture Fireside Politics is the most complete study so far of the interactions between broadcasting and the U.S. political system during the 'golden age' of radio... Likely to become a leading reference in continuing discussions over communication history, technology, and democracy. -- Stephen Ponder H-Pol, H-Net Reviews A fascinating study making good use of archival material as well as prior research. CBQ
Series: Reconfiguring American Political History
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 3rd October 2000
Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.77 x 16.26
Weight (kg): 0.64