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Fireside Politics

, 384 pages

6 b&w illus., 5 maps

May 2003



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Fireside Politics

Radio and Political Culture in the United States, 1920-1940

In Fireside Politics, Douglas B. Craig provides the first detailed and complete examination of radio's changing role in American political culture between 1920 and 1940—the medium's golden age, when it commanded huge national audiences without competition from television. Craig follows the evolution of radio into a commercialized, networked, and regulated industry, and ultimately into an essential tool for winning political campaigns and shaping American identity in the interwar period. Finally, he draws thoughtful comparisons of the American experience of radio broadcasting and political culture with those of Australia, Britain, and Canada.

Douglas B. Craig is a reader in history at the Australian National University. He is the author of After Wilson: The Struggle for the Democratic Party, 1920–1934.

"An impressively researched and useful study... Craig subtly winds his interpretive, critical thread of the unfulfilled promise of radio as an engine of a more expansive democracy into a larger narrative about the institutional and ideological sway of commercial radio interests."

"Douglas Craig's main goal was to write a political history of radio broadcasting in the United States before World War II; however, he has also succeeded in producing the best general study yet published on the development of radio broadcasting during this crucial period when key institutional and social patterns were established."

" Fireside Politics is the most complete study so far of the interactions between broadcasting and the U.S. political system during the 'golden age' of radio... Likely to become a leading reference in continuing discussions over communication history, technology, and democracy."

"A fascinating study making good use of archival material as well as prior research."

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