Broadcast Hysteria

Broadcast Hysteria

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

Book - 2015
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A. Brad Schwartz boldly retells the story of Welles's famed radio play and its impact. Did it really spawn a "wave of mass hysteria," as The New York Times reported? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent to Orson Welles himself in the days after the broadcast, and his findings challenge the conventional wisdom. Few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast became a major scandal, prompting 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. When the debate was over, American broadcasting had changed for good, but not for the better.
Publisher: New York :, Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2015
Edition: First edition
Description: 337 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780809031610
Branch Call Number: 791.4472 War


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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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