Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

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
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good Condition Shipped by Amazon
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
25 Used from $3.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
17 New from $18.66 25 Used from $3.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Windows 10 For Dummies Video Training
Get up to speed with Windows 10 with this video training course from For Dummies. Learn more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


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.


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)


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)

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

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)

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

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
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: classic movie