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Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
When the pirate operator Oliver Smedley shot and killed his rival Reg Calvert in Smedley’s country cottage on June 21, 1966, it was a turning point for the outlaw radio stations dotting the coastal waters of England. Situated on ships and offshore forts like Shivering Sands, these stations blasted away at the high-minded BBC’s broadcast monopoly with the new beats of the S ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Margaret Sankey
From its beginning in 1922, the BBC expected receivers to be uplifted, instructed and honest (and thus pay the otherwise unenforceable license fee) and to sit quietly in a family area of the home to listen undistractedly to what the government's series of Puritanical directors thought best. Enter teenagers, transistors, the Rolling Stones and pirate radio stations operating outside the 7-mile sea boundary. I love the BBC and BBC Radio (esp. streaming online--they jumped on the right technology b ...more
Thom
Jun 09, 2011 Thom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
About 9/10ths interesting history and 1/10th aftermath, where the author leads the reader to the conclusions alluded to in the subtitle. The book would have been better without this portion, but then I like history.
If the conclusion is the reason for the book, then it needed a much clearer demonstration. Is there a connection between the British Pirate radio, the "Hacker Ethic", and libertarian principles? A reader wouldn't find that here. Perhaps the author's new book, Piracy: The Intellectual
...more
Corinne
Oct 04, 2015 Corinne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had so many details it was a struggle to slough through. Honestly, I probably never would have finished it if it had not been assigned reading for a class. I found myself actually enjoying the last chapter, if that was the slight change in subject matter or the fact that I knew the end was near is a matter for debate.
Caleb
Mar 12, 2014 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, but a little jumbled here and there. Also, I was partially hoping for more of the Pirate Radio (movie) story
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Adrian Johns is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. Educated at Cambridge University, Johns is a specialist on intellectual property and piracy.
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