War of the Black Heavens: The Battles of Western Broadcasting in the Cold War / Edition 1

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Based on first-hand interviews and documents from the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, Michael Nelson shows that Western radio - principally, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and the Voice of America - were unrivaled forces in the fight against communism and the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Communists did everything in their power to prevent the infiltration of Western thought into their world, resorting to jamming radio signals, assassinating staff, and bombing stations. These radio programs introduced a forbidden, exciting culture to millions of eager listeners. Pop music, talk shows, news, and information about consumer goods all relayed a message of the good life, subtly undermining the values of the communist regimes. Western radio actively connected listeners with the cultures of Europe and North America.
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Editorial Reviews

Former Reuters journalist Nelson maintains that Western radio institutions such as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were unrivaled forces in the fight against communism and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Covering the period from the first Bolshevik broadcast in 1917 through the failed Soviet coup of 1991, Nelson describes the history of the stations, the efforts of communist governments to jam broadcasts, and the role of radio in introducing a forbidden and exciting culture to citizens of communist countries. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815604792
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Sales rank: 1,386,531
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Prologue 1
2 The Start of the Cold War (1945-1947) 10
3 The Beginning of the Age of Jamming (1947-1950) 20
4 Starting RFE and RL (1950-1953) 46
5 Uprisings (1953-1956) 67
6 The Beginnings of Detente (1956-1963) 91
7 Other Major Broadcasters 107
8 Clearer Airwaves (1963-1968) 116
9 Czechoslovak Invasion and After (1968-1979) 137
10 Solidarity (1979-1989) 157
11 Revolutions (1989) 181
12 Epilogue: Gorbachev Listens to the Voices 193
Chronology 199
Notes 201
Bibliography 233
Acknowledgments 255
Index 261
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