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

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  35 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
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 silenci
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Paperback, 326 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by New York University Press (first published 2001)
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Myles
Feb 25, 2012 Myles rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
This book did pretty well to start, but when the history of radio got more fractured and contested in the late 70s to the late 90s (when the book ends) Walker's sources start to become highly suspect or fall through. I suppose he was trying to keep the history personal by zeroing in on select stations and their battles with Washington and big radio, but the end result was a lot of pages covering tempests-in-teapots. When writing local or "small" histories the most important thing to do to keep a ...more
Conor
Aug 27, 2010 Conor rated it liked it
As thoroughly researched as one could hope a biased book could be. The author clearly has an agenda from the start and that's OK - I'm more or less on board with him. But sometimes it felt like the details bogged down the narrative of the book. I found the earlier chapters to be a better read and more enjoyable. Reading about in-fighting at Pacifica radio leaves a bit to be desired. But if you're curious to expand your own personal understanding of the fringes of radio broadcast, read this.
Jonas
Apr 04, 2008 Jonas rated it liked it
Shelves: music-industry, radio

I got very excited to find this book available locally but never had much time to read it. Did read the first essay which was an incredible story about a little pirate radio station down near Lubbock, Texas which stirred up a tiny town, pissed a lot of people off but in the end, brought the community together around their little illegal soap box.
Josh
Jul 06, 2012 Josh rated it really liked it
This book told me a lot about the so-called public radio networks that are left after decades of consolidation, corporatization, and deregulation. You'll think twice about sending in a check the next time you hear a fund drive after reading this book.
Steve
Apr 25, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Haters of Clear Channel
Essential for anyone wanting to understand the anarchic, creative side of the airwaves.
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