"This history of the impact of radio on the rural US between the wars will interest historians and rural sociologists as well as media scholars. The author uses demographic data and primary and secondary sources to make the case that radio was an important link between rural communities and the rest of the country and therefore was an important contributor to the creation of a national identity through the spread of popular culture. Craig explores the roles of the USDA, the federal regulatory agencies, and commercial radio through both historical sources and contemporary scholarship. The author does a good job documenting his points, and the endnotes and bibliography are excellent. Although Craig does not present very much detail for the post-WW II years, the dramatic change in rural isolation due to the diffusion of radio is well researched and written. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
[Out of the Dark] vividly illustrates the dramatic social and cultural change radio brought to isolated rural Americans from the 1920s through World War II and the postwar years. Craig brings readers an intimate, detailed understanding of radio’s role in shaping rural audiences and general American society during the 20th century.”
Louise Benjamin, author of Freedom of the Air and Public Interest: Establishing First Amendment Rights on Broadcasting to 1935
"Steve Craig's excellent book on the history of rural radio [is] well-written, readable [and] includes both statistical data and stories that bring rural radio alive. I am guessing that many people with rural roots would resonate to this book even if they don't teach media history as I do. Too often, media historians ignore the history of media outside New York and Washington, DC. This book is a welcome addition to that literature and the overall history of radio.”—Communication Research Trends
About the Author
Steve Craig is the coauthor of Consuming Environments: Television and Commercial Culture and editor of Men, Masculinity, and the Media.