Book Reviews -- Commissioners of the FCC: 1927-1994 Edited by Gerald V. Flannery

Article excerpt

Flannery, Gerald V. (ed.). Commissioners of the FCC: 1927-1994. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1995. 228 pp. $49.50.

Gerald Flannery' s Commissioners of the FCC: 1927-1994 contains compact biographies of those who shared the responsibility of developing policy and regulating American broadcasting from the creation of the Federal Radio Commission through the present Federal Communications Commission. Flannery, who teaches communication at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, does not intend the book to be a comprehensive look at the lives and contributions of seventy-six FCC commissioners over sixty-seven years. Instead, it is a convenient reference tool for those who need quick access to the past and present FCC commissioners in a single source.

Commissioners of the FCC highlights their personal and career backgrounds; their tenure as commissioners; and their contributions to communication policy and regulation. Flannery places each biography in its proper historical and political perspective, including the various challenges faced by the commissioners during their tenure. Examples of the challenges were the initial decision to regulate radio during President Calvin Coolidge's administration, the television licensing freeze of 1948, and the merging of the telephone industry with the cable/video business in the 1990s.

In addition to the concise biographies, the book's preface contains a brief history of the early days of broadcast regulation under the Federal Radio Commission and an overview of the responsibilities of the current Federal Communications Commission. …


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