Author: A. Brad Schwartz
Release Date: 2015-05-05
The enthralling and never-told story of the War of the Worlds radio drama and its true aftermath On October 30, 1938, families across the country were gathered around their radios when their regular programming was interrupted by an announcer delivering news of a meteor strike in New Jersey. With increasing intensity, the announcer read bulletins describing terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. As the invading force approached, some listeners sat transfixed before their radios, while others ran to alert neighbors or call the police. Some even fled their homes in panic. But the broadcast was not breaking news--it was Orson Welles's adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic TheWar of the Worlds. In Broadcast Hysteria, A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. He draws upon them, and hundreds more sent to the FCC, to recapture the roiling emotions of a bygone era, and his findings challenge conventional wisdom. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast prompted a different kind of "mass panic" as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis makeBroadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking work of media history.
"If a judgment were ever rendered on all the multi-million words I have spoken into microphones, I hope something like this could be said: 'He [Huntley] had a great respect, almost an awe, of the medium in which he worked. He regarded it as a privilege, not a license.... Perhaps the best I might hope is that by some accident of voice tone or arrangement of words I did, on a few occasions, excite, exhort, annoy or provoke a few of my fellow human beings to think with their heads, not the viscera'"--Chet Huntley. This biography of NBC newsman Chet Huntley, who, along with David Brinkley, anchored NBC's "Huntley-Brinkley Report," covers his youth on a farm in Montana, his education and his graduation from the University of Washington, his development as a radio personality and news reporter for stations in Seattle, Spokane, Portland, and his work for CBS, ABC and NBC radio and television in Los Angeles from 1939 to 1955. It also details his move to New York and his work on the "Huntley-Brinkley Report" from 1956 to 1970, his retirement from the news business, his supervision of the development of the Big Sky Ski resort in Montana, and his death from cancer in 1974 at the age of 62.
Author: Loren Ghiglione
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2008-10-06
Genre: Performing Arts
Loren Ghiglione recounts the fascinating life and tragic suicide of Don Hollenbeck, the controversial newscaster who became a primary target of McCarthyism's smear tactics. Drawing on unsealed FBI records, private family correspondence, and interviews with Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Charles Collingwood, Douglas Edwards, and more than one hundred other journalists, Ghiglione writes a balanced biography that cuts close to the bone of this complicated newsman and chronicles the stark consequences of the anti-Communist frenzy that seized America in the late 1940s and 1950s. Hollenbeck began his career at the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal (marrying the boss's daughter) before becoming an editor at William Randolph Hearst's rip-roaring Omaha Bee-News. He participated in the emerging field of photojournalism at the Associated Press; assisted in creating the innovative, ad-free PM newspaper in New York City; reported from the European theater for NBC radio during World War II; and anchored television newscasts at CBS during the era of Edward R. Murrow. Hollenbeck's pioneering, prize-winning radio program, CBS Views the Press (1947-1950), was a declaration of independence from a print medium that had dominated American newsmaking for close to 250 years. The program candidly criticized the prestigious New York Times, the Daily News (then the paper with the largest circulation in America), and Hearst's flagship Journal-American and popular morning tabloid Daily Mirror. For this honest work, Hollenbeck was attacked by conservative anti-Communists, especially Hearst columnist Jack O'Brian, and in 1954, plagued by depression, alcoholism, three failed marriages, and two network firings (and worried about a third), Hollenbeck took his own life. In his investigation of this amazing American character, Ghiglione reveals the workings of an industry that continues to fall victim to censorship and political manipulation. Separating myth from fact, CBS's Don Hollenbeck is the definitive portrait of a polarizing figure who became a symbol of America's tortured conscience.
It's July and it's 94 degrees Fahrenheit. What do you do? Blast the air conditioning. It's a modern miracle of convenience and cooling. How did it happen? Sal Basile's narrative history traces the origins one of the machines we take for granted. It's a contraption that makes the lists of "Greatest Inventions Ever"; at the same time, it's accused of causing global disaster. It has changed everything from architecture to people's food habits to their voting patterns, to even the way big business washes its windows. It has saved countless lives . . . while causing countless deaths. Most of us are glad it's there. But we don't know how, or when, it got there. It's air conditioning. For thousands of years, humankind attempted to do something about the slow torture of hot weather. Everything was tried: water power, slave power, electric power, ice made from steam engines and cold air made from deadly chemicals, "zephyrifers," refrigerated beds, ventilation amateurs and professional air-sniffers. It wasn't until 1902 when an engineer barely out of college developed the "Apparatus for Treating Air" a machine that could actually cool the indoors and everyone assumed it would instantly change the world. That wasn't the case. There was a time when people "ignored" hot weather while reading each day's list of heat-related deaths, women wore furs in the summertime, heatstroke victims were treated with bloodletting . . . and the notion of a machine to cool the air was considered preposterous, even sinful. The story of air conditioning is actually two stories: the struggle to perfect a cooling device, and the effort to convince people that they actually needed such a thing. With a cast of characters ranging from Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Nixon to Felix the Cat, Cool showcases the myriad reactions to air conditioning some of them dramatic, many others comical and wonderfully inconsistent as it was developed and presented to the world. Here is a unique perspective on air conditioning's fascinating history: how we rely so completely on it today, and how it might change radically tomorrow.
Author: K. Somerville
Release Date: 2012-08-31
Genre: Political Science
An exposition and analysis of the development of propaganda, focusing on how the development of radio transformed the delivery and impact of propaganda and led to the use of radio to incite hatred and violence.
Author: Erik Barnouw
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1970-02-18
Genre: Business & Economics
During the iQSo's, in a frontier atmosphere of enterprise and sharp struggle, an American television system took shape. But even as it did so, itspioneers pushed beyond American borders and became programmers to scores of other nations. In its first decade United States television was already a world phenomenon. Since American radio had for some time had international ramifications, American images and sounds were radiatingfrom transmitter towers throughout the globe. They were called entertainment or news or education but were always more. They were a reflection of a growing United States involvement in the lives of other nationsan involvement of imperial scope. The role of broadcasters in this American expansion and in the era that produced it is the subject matter of The Image Empire, the last of three volumes comprising this study.
Author: Erik Barnouw
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1990-05-31
Genre: Performing Arts
Based on the classic History of Broadcasting in the United States, Tube of Plenty represents the fruit of several decades' labor. When Erik Barnouw--premier chronicler of American broadcasting and a participant in the industry for fifty years--first undertook the project of recording its history, many viewed it as a light-weight literary task concerned mainly with "entertainment" trivia. Indeed, trivia such as that found in quiz programs do appear in the book, but Barnouw views them as part of a complex social tapestry that increasingly defines our era. To understand our century, we must fully comprehend the evolution of television and its newest extraordinary offshoots. With this fact in mind, Barnouw's new edition of Tube of Plenty explores the development and impact of the latest dramatic phases of the communications revolution. Since the first publication of this invaluable history of television and how it has shaped, and been shaped by, American culture and society, many significant changes have occurred. Assessing the importance of these developments in a new chapter, Barnouw specifically covers the decline of the three major networks, the expansion of cable and satellite television and film channels such as HBO (Home Box Office), the success of channels catering to special audiences such as ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) and MTV (Music Television), and the arrival of VCRs in America's living rooms. He also includes an appendix entitled "questions for a new millennium," which will challenge readers not only to examine the shape of television today, but also to envision its future.
Author: Nils J. Nilsson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2009-10-30
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field within computer science that is attempting to build enhanced intelligence into computer systems. This book traces the history of the subject, from the early dreams of eighteenth-century (and earlier) pioneers to the more successful work of today's AI engineers. AI is becoming more and more a part of everyone's life. The technology is already embedded in face-recognizing cameras, speech-recognition software, Internet search engines, and health-care robots, among other applications. The book's many diagrams and easy-to-understand descriptions of AI programs will help the casual reader gain an understanding of how these and other AI systems actually work. Its thorough (but unobtrusive) end-of-chapter notes containing citations to important source materials will be of great use to AI scholars and researchers. This book promises to be the definitive history of a field that has captivated the imaginations of scientists, philosophers, and writers for centuries.
Author: Herbert George Wells
Release Date: 1898
Genre: Science fiction
H.G. Wells's hugely influential book tracks the exploits of a writer who struggles to survive an alien invasion of Victorian England. After seeing the monstrous Martians firsthand, the narrator attempts to evade their destructive mechanized vehicles and must stay on the run to avoid detection. As he meets other desperate humans, he becomes increasingly pessimistic about any chance of survival. The novel stands as a major milestone in science-fiction literature, inspiring legions of subsequent writers and an endless array of hostile-alien scenarios.
Author: Daniel J. Czitrom
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 1982
Genre: Social Science
In a fascinating and comprehensive intellectual history of modern communication in America, Daniel Czitrom examines the continuing contradictions between the progressive possibilities that new communications technologies offer and their use as instruments