Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface: Wireless Cultures

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pp. vii-x

This book is a prehistory of our wireless culture. It examines the coevolution of radio and the novel in the Americas from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, and the various populist political climates in which a new medium—radio—became the chosen means to produce the voice of the people. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Although listeners tend to hear the sound of a radio broadcast as if it came from nowhere, it requires a coalition of diligent workers, from the sound engineers, to the DJs, to the designers of the receiver in your car stereo, phone, or computer to assure that the signal reaches you. A book like this is no different. ...

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Introduction: Learning to Listen

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pp. 3-22

The first transnational commercial radio broadcast in the Americas was the 1923 fight between Jack Dempsey—the United States heavyweight champion of the world—and his Argentine challenger, Luis Ángel Firpo.1 Broadcast from New York City’s Polo Grounds, the transmission reached listeners in Argentina, Cuba, and the United States. ...

Part I. The New (Deal) Acoustics

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1. “On the National Hookup”: Radio, Character Networks, and U.S.A.

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pp. 25-51

In a section titled “On the National Hookup” in his travelogue In All Countries (1934), John Dos Passos details the social and acoustic engineering that electrified Chicago Stadium at the 1932 Democratic National Convention. Describing the scene that remained invisible to radio listeners, Dos Passos observes NBC pages ...

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2. The Sound of the Good Neighbor: Radio, Realism, and Real Estate

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pp. 52-76

Two defining cultural events revealed radio’s aesthetic and political impact on the United States in 1938: Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater of the Air’s infamous Halloween night broadcast of War of the Worlds on CBS, and the publication of John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy. ...

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3. Struggling Words: Public Housing, Sound Technologies, and the Position of Speech

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pp. 77-112

The same year Carson McCullers published The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter she moved into a boardinghouse on 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights owned by her friend, Harper’s Bazaar editor George Davis.1 Her fellow boarders in the building Anaïs Nin later christened “February House,” eventually included W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, “Gypsy” Rose Lee, ...

Part II. Occupying the Airwaves

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4. Tears in the Ether: The Rise of the Radionovela

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pp. 115-139

On October 10, 1922, the fifty-four-year anniversary of the Cuban Ten Years’ War for independence from Spain, Cuban president Alfredo de Zayas delivered Cuban radio’s official inaugural broadcast. Speaking over station PWX, the network of the Cuban Telephone Company, a subsidiary of the U.S.-owned International Telephone and Telegraph Company (ITT), ...

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5. Radio’s Revolutions

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pp. 140-166

Commenting in June 1960 on his first visit to Havana, the civil rights activist Robert F. Williams, who self-identified as a “black internationalist,” recalled that a white reporter from the United States told him, “I had no business talking about the race problem over here and that I should do my talking at home.”1 ...

Part III. Hand-to-Hand Speech

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6. House Taken Over: Listening, Writing and the Politics of the Commonplace in Manuel Puig’s Fiction

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pp. 169-201

In March 1960, Goar Mestre, the now exiled former head of Radio CMQ in Cuba, arrived in Buenos Aires. Born to a wealthy family in Santiago de Cuba, where his father ran a pharmaceuticals company alongside the fathers of the actor Desi Arnaz and the politician Eduardo Chibás, Mestre was educated at Yale and came to the radio business ...

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7. The Ends of Radio: Tape, Property, and Popular Voice

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pp. 202-222

A year after Manuel Puig published Eternal Curse on the Reader of These Pages—a novel based on interviews that tactically redeployed the themes of trauma, memory, and political violence associated with Latin American testimonial literature—he composed his tape-recorder novel, Sangre de amor correspondido (Blood of Requited Love; 1982). ...

Notes

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pp. 223-286

Works Cited

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pp. 287-306

Index

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pp. 307-313

Further Series Titles

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