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Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States 4th Edition

Michele Hilmes

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2011, 2007, 2002
  • 512 Pages


ONLY CONNECT provides a comprehensive history of American broadcasting from its earliest days in radio, through the rise of television, to the current era of digital media and the Internet. It views broadcasting as a vital component of American cultural identity, placing the development of U.S. radio, television, and new media in the context of social and cultural change. Each chapter opens with a discussion of the historical period, thoroughly traces the development of media policy, the growth of media industries, and the history of U.S. broadcast programming, and closes with a look at the major ways that radio and television have been understood and discussed throughout American history. Students learn not just about broadcasting, but also about U.S. history and American culture as well.

Michele Hilmes, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Michele Hilmes is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has taught the history of broadcasting course for nearly two decades. She was Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication Arts for eight years and currently serves as Department Chair. Hilmes is the author or editor of several books on broadcasting history in addition to ONLY CONNECT, including NETWORK NATIONS: A TRANSNATIONAL HISTORY OF BRITISH AND AMERICAN BROADCASTING (2011); RADIO VOICES: AMERICAN BROADCASTING 1922-1952 (1997); and RADIO'S NEW WAVE: GLOBAL SOUND IN THE DIGITAL ERA (2013) as well as numerous journal and anthology articles. She is frequently invited to give presentations on U.S. cultural history, both at home and around the world.
  • The 4th Edition has been revised to fully incorporate digital media.
  • A whole new Chapter 13 covers the Web 2.0 era, including analysis of the new digital media powers and cross-media convergence culture.
  • A new Conclusion looks ahead to the era of media without borders.
  • The end of chapter material has been upgraded for teaching effectiveness. It now features "Further Explorations" that combine print, video and online resources; a new Key Terms and Concepts list; and a new feature, Questions for Review and Discussion.
  • "Breakout Boxes" in almost every chapter condense complicated information in a table or chart format to appeal to visual learners.
  • Hilmes presents the history of broadcasting from a cultural perspective to take into account not only the technology, digital and regulation factors, but also the impact of cultural values, social discourses, and audience formations.
  • Specific "Connections" case studies in each chapter illustrate and develop the historical forces traced in each era to make complex material easy to understand. These in-depth examples of particular themes and trends encourage students to make connections to broad industry or regulation issues.
  • Chapter-opening "Social Context" features provide contextual material for students to grasp the historical framework for that era of broadcasting.
  • Global developments are integrated with U.S. history throughout the book to help to students understand the global nature of broadcasting.
1. Making History.
2. Before Broadcasting.
3. Broadcasting Begins, 1919 to 1926.
4. The Network Age, 1926 to 1940.
5. Radio for Everyone, 1926 to 1940.
6. War at Home and Abroad, 1940 to 1945.
7. At Last Television, 1945 to 1955.
8. The Domesticated Medium, 1955 to 1965.
9. The Classic Network System, 1965 to 1975.
10. Rising Discontent, 1975 to 1985.
11. The Big Change, 1985 to 1995.
12. Entering the Digital Era, 1995-2005.
13. Chapter 13: Baby, It's You: Web 2.0, 2005-.
14. Conclusion: Media Without Borders.

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  • ISBN-10: 1285703154
  • ISBN-13: 9781285703152
  • STARTING AT $20.49

  • STARTING AT $36.49

  • ISBN-10: 1133307302
  • ISBN-13: 9781133307303
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $172.50
  • RETAIL $228.95

"Only Connect occupies an invaluable place in the field."

"Only Connect is rightly the leading text in this area because unlike other books, it places the developments in American broadcasting in full context with societal changes at large. It is written in an approachable manner which engages college students in the material."