Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America

Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America

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by Jesse Walker
     
 

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Boring 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

Overview

Boring 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.

Editorial Reviews

About Guide
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 most engaging and fast-paced...A must read.

(The About Guide also rates this book as the top radio history book on the market)

Library Journal
Both academics and radio enthusiasts will appreciate this book.
From the Publisher
"Present-day American radio—both public and commercial—has, with its blandness, hidden the bodies of hundreds of idealists who tried to make it meaningful and interesting and alive. Whether it's micro radio, pirate radio, the Citizens Band, or Pacifica, Jesse Walker has done his homework, digging up often funny tales of strange characters who tried, in one way or another, to better the airwaves."

-Lorenzo W. Milam,author of Sex and Broadcasting and the Radio Papers

"Throughout Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, Walker surveys the current state of radio and finds it wanting.”

-Chronicles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814784778
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
326
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Rebels on the Air is a joyous, smart, lucid, hilarious, critical and engaging celebration of community based, non-commercial radio in the United States. Jesse Walker vividly captures the people, their visions and achievements, their friends and enemiesall in a book that is great fun to read."

-Matthew Lasar,author of Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network

"Throughout Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, Walker surveys the current state of radio and finds it wanting."

-Chronicles,

"Present-day American radio—both public and commercial—has, with its blandness, hidden the bodies of hundreds of idealists who tried to make it meaningful and interesting and alive. Whether it's micro radio, pirate radio, the Citizens Band, or Pacifica, Jesse Walker has done his homework, digging up often funny tales of strange characters who tried, in one way or another, to better the airwaves."

-Lorenzo W. Milam,author of Sex and Broadcasting and the Radio Papers

"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

"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

Meet the Author

Jesse Walker is an associate editor of Reason magazine. His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, L.A. Weekly, Salon, The New Republic, Inside.com, the All-Music Guide, Radio World, and Z. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do u have nick name?