An anecdotal and readable history.--nthposition online magazine "The most fascinating parts of the book are the stories of offbeat radio operations, which Walker describes with humor and empathy."--The Review of Communication "Both academics and radio enthusiasts will appreciate this book." --Library Journal "Without a doubt, this is the most detailed and well-researched book ever published on the history of free radio in America. This includes the most comprehensive history ever written on the modern microradio movement; culled from personal interviews, the writing is mostly engaging and fast-paced...A must read." --The About Guide "The book is a great addition to the literature of the ways in which the state uses regulatory edicts and strong-arm tactics to stifle people's freedom." --George C. Leef,Freedom Daily "Jesse Walker's lively book is the first to offer a thorough history of what's come to be known as alternative radio." --Time Out New York"The story of early radio broadcasting is a fascinating one and well told."--Monitoring Times"Walker goes a long way toward showing the considerable creativity in nonmainstream radio, despite its lack of funds and other problems. The strongest part of the discussion is that dealing with the last thee decades. An interesting balance to the perceived story of American radio." --ChoiceBoring DJs who never shut up, and who don't even pick their own records. The same hits, over and over. A constant stream of annoying commercials. How did radio get so dull? Not by accident, contends journalist and historian Jesse Walker. For decades, government and big business have colluded to monopolize the airwaves, stamping out competition, reducing variety, and silencing dissident voices. And yet, in the face of such pressure, an alternative radio tradition has tenaciously survived. Rebels on the Air explores these overlooked chapters in American radio, revealing the legal barriers established broadcasters have erected to ensure their dominance. Using lively anecdotes drawn from firsthand interviews, Walker chronicles the story of the unsung heroes of American radio who, despite those barriers, carved out spaces for themselves in the spectrum, sometimes legally and sometimes not. Walker's engaging, meticulous account is the first comprehensive history of alternative radio in the United States. From the unlicensed amateurs who invented broadcasting to the community radio movement of the 1960s and 1970s, from the early days of FM to today's micro radio movement, Walker lays bare the hidden history of broadcasting. Above all, Rebels on the Air is the story of the pirate broadcasters who shook up radio in the 1990s and of the new sorts of radio we can expect in the next century, as the microbroadcasters crossbreed with the even newer field of Internet broadcasting.
"Without a doubt, this is the most detailed and well-researched book ever published on the history of free radio in America. This includes the most comprehensive history ever written on the modern microradio movement; culled from personal interviews, the writing is mostly engaging and fast-paced...A must read."
-The About Guide