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American politics was transformed from the time aWABC manager told Rush Limbaugh, “You’re kidding yourself if you think we’ll ever carry your national show,” to the day an establishment Republican senator griped “talk radio is running America.” Limbaugh ignited a new generation of talkers such as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck helping to define the Conservative movement. But Rush can’t take all the credit, the story begins much earlier. It began with Walter Winchell and Bob Grant....
American politics was transformed from the time aWABC manager told Rush Limbaugh, “You’re kidding yourself if you think we’ll ever carry your national show,” to the day an establishment Republican senator griped “talk radio is running America.” Limbaugh ignited a new generation of talkers such as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck helping to define the Conservative movement. But Rush can’t take all the credit, the story begins much earlier. It began with Walter Winchell and Bob Grant. This the remarkable story.
Foreword Martha Zoller 11
Chapter One 15
Leaders(s) of the Republican Party?
Chapter Two 31
H.V. Kaltenborn: Dean of Commentators
Boake Carter: Far and Away the Most Daring
Father Charles Coughlin: Right Wing Radio Priest?
Fulton Lewis Jr.: Combating the 'Ultra Liberal Eastern Crowd'
Walter Winchell: Inventing Infotainment
Chapter Three 65
Clarence Manion: Taking Bipartisan Aim
Dan Smoot: Fighting Invisible Government
Rev. Carl McIntyre: Crushed by the Fairness Doctrine
Rev. Billy James Hargis: Catalyst to the Red Lion Ruling
Chapter Four 81
Joe Pyne: 'Father of in your Face Talk'
Bob Grant: 'Perfecting Anger'
Barry Farber: 'Publicist of Ultra Conservative Outlooks'
Marlin Maddoux's Point of View
George Putnam: 'Greatest Voice in Radio'
Dr. Dobson: Changing America's Focus
Libertarian Chatter with Neal Boortz
Chapter Five 119
'Challenge and Harass'
Chapter Six 133
Chapter Seven 147
The Rise of Rush
Chapter Eight 163
The Roaring 90s
Talk Radio and the Clinton Agenda
Radio's Road to Impeachment
On the Air with the G-Man
Michael Reagan: The Great Radio Communicator
Michael Medved's Thumbs up Media Career
Dennis Prager: Speaking Objective Truth to Moral Relativism
Mike Gallagher: In the Republican Trenches
Chapter Nine 203
The Bush Years
Backing the War President
Sounding the Amnesty Alarm
Sean Hannity: 'Born to Argue'
Hugh Hewitt: Mastering the New Media
First Lady of Conservative Radio
Bill Bennett: Socrates on the Air
Chapter Ten 245
The Folly of Ex-Politicians
Chaotic Rise and Horrendous Fall of Air America
Chapter Eleven 257
All Talk is Local
Congressional Pay Hike and Radio
Tennessee Tax Revolt
Tar Heel Tea Party
Lars Larson and Citizen Gabriel
Chapter Twelve 277
Obama Tea and Talk
Mark Levin: Chief Justice of the Airwaves
Glenn Beck: Commentator and Guru
Posted March 12, 2013
First and foremost the author, Fred Lucas, is a great story teller. The book is the story of conservative talk radio from its origins to the current day. It is the story of a society learning to tolerate differences and new voices. As conservative talk radio slowly emerges and gradually gains a larger and larger following, its progress is challenged by the established political establishment. The author catalogues the growth of the industry and the actions of the political establishment to contain the growth. Although Fred Lucas does not hide his bias he manages a balanced historical telling of the events that shaped talk radio. At each stage of development the author provides a short biography of the main talk radio broadcasters of the period. Each decade of talk radio’s growth included a struggle to survive forces that wanted to suppress the growth of the industry.
The author describes the fascinating history, strange alliances and lengthy legal challenges about what on the surface seems like a simple application of First Amendment free speech. It is apparent nothing is that simple. From the facts presented in this book it seems powerful politicians are able to contort even free speech concepts to align with their political affiliations. Although a topic like the history of talk radio could denigrate into a one-sided attack on liberal politicians, the author avoids this bias and simply presents the history of what occurred. Both sides are clearly represented with skill and nonjudgmentally.
This book works as a history book of the twentieth century through the microphone of talk radio. It also works as a case study of how powerful politicians use their power to shape society. But overall it is just a great story told well.
Posted August 24, 2012
Wonderful, historical account of talk radio! Great interviews and a lot
of interesting information all in one place. I ordered the book after
hearing about it on the Mark Levin show. If you like history or radio,
you'll love this well researched book.