Broadcast Hysteria

Broadcast Hysteria

Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News

Book - 2015 | First edition
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In Broadcast Hysteria, A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. He draws upon them, and hundreds more sent to the FCC, to recapture the roiling emotions of a bygone era, and his findings challenge conventional wisdom. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast prompted a different kind of "mass panic" as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make Broadcast Hysteria a groundbreaking work of media history.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780809031610
Branch Call Number: 791.4472 SCH 2015
Characteristics: 337 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : facsimile, portraits, photographs ; 25 cm


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Nov 12, 2015

I was reintroduced to the subject by the PBS episode that also covered it. Fascinating historical backdrop and context, yet with relevance in today's era of "instant news".

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