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Electric Sounds: Technological Change and the Rise of Corporate Mass Media (Film and Culture Series)

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0231136778
ISBN-10: 0231136773
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Overall, Wurtzler's book is a very profitable read and will be most helpful for those who seek parallels to our media present in the past and want to understand the "mutually reinforcing" relationship between new media and extant matrices of economics, politics, and culture.

(Heidi Tworek H-Net)

Extensively researched... Recommended.

(Choice)

Electric Sounds is well written and engaging, presenting a fine balance of detailed analysis and social and cultural overview.

(Jody Pennington The Journal of American History)

An important contribution to the history of technology as well as media studies.

(Gerd Horten American Historical Review)

An amazing historical account... the depth of [Wurtzler's] research is stunning.

(Choice (paperback))

Well-argued and thought-provoking study

(Heidi Tworek Jhistory)

Review

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century audio: the hum and buzz of amplified sound as well as the corporate ka-ching that helped to make it so pervasive. Drawing on a trove of original research, Steve J. Wurtzler trumps media-specificity to render the entwined histories of recording, radio, and cinema sound from the '20s to the '50s.

(Lisa Gitelman, author of Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture)

Steve J. Wurtzler's Electric Sounds is an extraordinary achievement. In order to explain the radical changes that characterized American media during the twenties and thirties, Wurtzler has taken on the considerable challenge of dealing with every one of the period's interlocking sound systems, from sound cinema and radio to the phonograph and telephone. Wurtzler's success in bringing a new interdisciplinary approach to this key moment in American media history is in large part due to the quality and breadth of his quite stunning research. I can't remember a book that matches the combination of in-depth research, interdisciplinary commitment, and historical acumen.

(Rick Altman, professor of cinema and comparative literature, University of Iowa)
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Product Details

  • Series: Film and Culture Series
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (December 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231136773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231136778
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
ELECTRIC SOUNDS: TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AND THE RISE OF CORPORATE MASS MEDIA discusses the changing atmosphere of social interaction brought about by a revolution in sound and delivery, which changed not only the radio world but the cinema and more. The 1920s and 30s represented some of the most important developments in American mass media, offering new roles for those who saw in it opportunity for education and cultural expression, and bringing with it fears for changes in public standards and social mores. ELECTRIC SOUNDS is a top pick for any college-level holding strong in American culture.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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