From its inception in 1932, overseas broadcasting by the BBC quickly became an essential adjunct to British diplomatic and foreign policy objectives. For this reason, the World Service was considered the primary means of engaging with attitudes and opinions behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Although funded by government Grant-in-Aid, the Service's editorial independence was enshrined in the BBC's Charter, Licence and Agreement. London Calling explores the delicate balance of power that lay in the relations between Whitehall and the World Service during the Cold War.
This book also assesses the nature and impact of the World Service's programmes on listeners living in the Eastern bloc countries. In doing so, it traces the evolution of overseas broadcasting from Britain alongside the political, diplomatic and fiscal challenges that the country faced right up to the Suez crisis and the 1956 Hungarian uprising. These were defining experiences for the United Kingdom's international broadcaster that, as a consequence, helped shape and define the BBC World Service as we know it today. London Calling is an important study for anyone interested in the media and foreign policy histories of Great Britain or the history of the Cold War more generally.
Winner of the Longman History Today Book of the Year Award 2015
Webb guides the reader through the intricacies of FO and BBC politics with great verve. He uses the BBC Written Archives (which are rarely consulted by historians) to tremendous effect ... Scholarly and accessible, London Calling is a fine read and a worthy winner of the Longman-History Today Book Prize. History Today It is not often a book about radio wins a prize. Nevertheless, London Calling: Britain, the BBC World Service and the Cold War by Alan Webb is an exception ... What makes this book important is the author's recognition of the significance of external broadcasting in global politics ... I wish Dr Webb well in his academic career and hope that there will be a second volume looking at the history of the BBC World Service from the 1960s onwards. -- David Harris Radio User Alban Webb's meticulously researched account of the postwar wrangling between government and the BBC not only provides fascinating detail but also offers a narrative and perspective which allows us to see its relevance today. -- Richard Sambrook, former Director of Global News at the BBC and now Professor of Journalism, Cardiff University, UK The Political Quarterly Alban Webb's London Calling: Britain, the BBC World Service and the Cold War won the 2015 Longman-History Today Book Prize. That honor might attract your attention to the book. However, understanding how the leaders of the BBC External Service (renamed the World Service in 1965) fought to maintain a Western standard of journalistic objectivity amid internal and external pressures because of the commencement of the Cold War will keep you engaged in it. -- Anthony Moretti, Robert Morris University, USA Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly At the heart of Webb's valuable study is the awkward accommodation that took shape between government and corporation ... about the scope, remit, funding and oversight of the BBC's global services. History Workshop Journal This is what a good history should do: both reveal new narratives as well as whet our anticipation for other good stories that might be told. Alban Webb has given us in London Calling, with all the hallmarks, a good BBC history. -- James Schwoch H-Net Alban Webb expertly reveals the special war of the ether which West and East waged against each other during the all-too-tangible Cold War. In these pages the aerials hum once more and the men and women who made them do so, to considerable effect, also breathe again. Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary University of London, UK
For Ages: 1 - 17 years old
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 26th February 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.1 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.55
Edition Number: 1