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208 × 156 mm
240 pages
80 illustrations, 30 in colour
01 May 2019
  • £18.00

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Radio Making Waves in Sound Alasdair Pinkerton

Radio is a medium of apparently endless contradictions. Now in its third century of existence, the technology still seems startlingly modern; despite frequent predictions of its demise, radio continues to evolve and flourish in the age of the Internet and social media. This book explores the history and mythology of the radio, describing its technological, political and social evolution, and how it emerged from Victorian experimental laboratories to become a near-ubiquitous presence in our lives. The book is shaped by radio’s multiple characters and characteristics – radio waves occur in nature, but have been harnessed and moulded by human beings to bridge oceans and reconfigure our experience of space and time. An informative and thought-provoking book for all enthusiasts of an old technology that still has the capacity to enthuse, entertain, entice and enrage.

‘Pinkerton’s Radio is wonderful: deeply researched, richly kaleidoscopic, beautifully written. Although Pinkerton has big themes to explore – radio’s technical origins, its sometimes contradictory cultural impacts, its extraordinary role in building communities, nations, and empires – he embraces all this without ever losing sight of the deeply human nature of his subject: the people who have made radio what it is, and the complex ways in which the global presence of this extraordinary medium shapes our daily lived experience. The result is both immensely fascinating and vitally important.’ – David Hendy, Professor of Media and Cultural History, University of Sussex and author of Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening

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Alasdair Pinkerton is Reader in Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is an avid radio listener and has battled with the ionosphere in the often futile attempt to receive shortwave signals from around the world.