Academic journal article Journalism History

Historical Dictionary of American Radio

Academic journal article Journalism History

Historical Dictionary of American Radio

Article excerpt

Godfrey, Donald G. and Frederic A. Leigh. Historical Dictionary of American Radio. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press,1998. 485 pp. $89.50.

From acid rock to the audion, simulcasting to Howard Stern, and Wolfman Jack to the zoo format, Historical Dictionary of American Radio seeks to define the terminology and personalities that have shaped radio's more than 100-year history.

The Historical Dictionary of American Radio is literally that, with more than 600 freestanding entries, cross-listed and presented in alphabetical order. The book brings together the work of nearly 100 scholars, many of whom are established authorities on the topics about which they have written.

Those topics are wide-ranging, including technical terms, inventors and their inventions, corporations, radio newscasters, entertainment personalities, and a number of important regulatory figures such as Herbert Hoover and Newton Minow. Contemporary topics such as Rush Limbaugh and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 also are included. The length of the entries ranges from a single sentence to several hundred words, and the book provides both a thorough index and references to aid further study. Editors Donald G. Godfrey and Frederic A. Leigh are faculty members at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University.

The Historical Dictionary of American Radio is intended as a reference work for media scholars, professionals, and readers with little knowledge of radio. With such a broad target audience, it is not surprising that the book's content is not particularly profound; most scholars who are familiar with radio history will find little here that is intellectually exciting. …

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