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Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Empire of the Air uncovers the almost unknown story of the creation of radio. It is a story of pioneering technology, of the American entrepreneurial spirit, and of the tragic collision between the corporation and the lone inventor. Published in conjunction with the PBS documentary. 8 pages of photographs.
Hardcover, 421 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Edward Burlingame Books (first published September 1991)
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Mark
Feb 07, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: americana
I am particularly fond of the history of the United States in the early twentieth century and that is the time period of Tom Lewis's "Empire of the Air". In fact the word "radio" was coined in 1910 to invoke the notion of electromagnetic waves radiating from a transmission tower. Being completely ignorant of how exactly voices and music come out of my home radio or car stereo it was fascinating to read about Marconi's experiments in Italy in the 1890's, Lee DeForest's 1906 invention of the ...more
J Gary Sparks
Jan 14, 2016 J Gary Sparks rated it it was amazing
A warm introduction to the history of radio and broadcasting? Why bother? It's the beginning of the digital age.
Logan
Jun 24, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it
It was a good (if wordy) look at three men who really founded and furthered the radio industry:

Lee De Forest---always striving for fame, petty, and a lackluster inventor who accidentally discovered the audion based on another's invention.

Howard Armstrong---True engineer and the real inventor behind not only long-distance, reasonable AM but FM radio too, and many techniques which are still used today. Very tragic story as he ended up spending a huge amount of his energy and time fighting men an
...more
JZ Temple
Aug 23, 2007 JZ Temple rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An excellent and well paced history of radio, focusing on the development of the "Empires" such as the big radio networks and also the development of improvements such as FM. As the title implies, it's more about the people and stays away from dry technical discussions. The author provides interesting character studies and conveys the story very well, especially considering the breath of the subject.
Michael
Jun 02, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Loved this book. We have all heard of most of the people who appear in this book (Marconi, Edison, Tesla, Sarnoff). This book brings it all together. No matter how much you may already know about the pioneers of radio and television, there is so much more in this book.
Jash Comstock
Jan 27, 2014 Jash Comstock rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I love this time period, and I love reading about Tesla and Marconi. This is a great overview of the early twentieth century radio culture.
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