Cover image for Active radio : Pacifica's brash experiment
Title:
Active radio : Pacifica's brash experiment
Author:
Land, Jeff.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xiii, 179 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Corporate Subject:
ISBN:
9780816631568

9780816631575
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HE8697.75.U6 L36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

In a searing critique of the War on Drugs and other attempts to eradicate "getting high, " Lenson ventures outside the conventional genres of drug writing and looks at the drug debate from a lost, and often forbidden, point of view: the user's. Walking a fine line between the antidrug hysteria prevalent in our culture and an uncritical advocacy of drug use, he describes in provocative detail the experiences and dynamics of drugs of pleasure and desire.


Summary

In a searing critique of the War on Drugs and other attempts to eradicate "getting high, " Lenson ventures outside the conventional genres of drug writing and looks at the drug debate from a lost, and often forbidden, point of view: the user's. Walking a fine line between the antidrug hysteria prevalent in our culture and an uncritical advocacy of drug use, he describes in provocative detail the experiences and dynamics of drugs of pleasure and desire.


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the independent Pacifica Radio Network, Land, a media critic and activist, recounts the network's history in a tight, accessible narrative. Land details how Lewis Hill and other pacifist conscientious objectors formed the Pacifica Foundation in 1946 to take their agenda beyond "ivory towerism" and to resist the "mediocrity and exploitation" that they believed defined commercial radio. After the FCC, in an era of intensified regulation, denied their idealistic AM application, Pacifica began to broadcast on FM via KPFA in the California Bay Area. Despite the network's populist intent, the station initially merited the sobriquet "Highbrow's Delight," offering classical music, intellectual roundtables and poetry alongside controversial politics. After its first decade, Pacifica expanded to New York and L.A., and as the countercultural movement gained momentum, the young network embraced the folk revival and became embroiled in a series of censorship trials over broadcasts of Ginsberg's Howl and George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." In 1962, the year longtime commentator Pauline Kael resigned in protest of Hill's domineering management of KPFA, Pacifica's New York outlet, WBAI, aired a former agent's then-shocking exposé of illegal FBI activities, a story no other network would touch. WBAI was also a leader in Vietnam coverage, sending one of the first American correspondents to Hanoi and broadcasting Seymour Hersh breaking the My Lai incident. Land acknowledges that Pacifica, like most progressive organizations, endured passionate disagreements about everything from socialist theory to air time for classical music. But unlike Matthew Lasar's Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network (Forecasts, Nov. 23), Land is less concerned with such internal divisions than with Pacifica's larger role in American culture. For Land, Pacifica embodies the power of the First Amendment, exemplifying the salutary effects of the "disruption of convention encouraged by vigorous public dissent." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Radio station KPEA began broadcasting from Berkeley, CA, in April 1949. By 1980 it had grown into the Pacifica Radio network, with stations in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and Houston and had earned a reputation for political activism, cultural discussion, and innovative programming, serving as the model for both public radio and television. Land, director of the -ISM (N.) media and diversity project in Durham, NC, covers Pacificas history and the philosophical beliefs of its founder, Lewis Hill. Land is unflinching in his presentation of the networks financial problems, internal conflicts, and court battles and also highlights Pacificas innovations, including reliance on listener financial support, talk radio programs, experimental formats, and aggressive news reporting. Lands work is not necessarily the final wordMatthew Lasers Pacifica Radio and the Rise of Alternative Radio (Temple Univ., 1999) has just been publishedbut it is engaging reading. Recommended for communications and media collections.Stephen L. Hupp, Swedenborg Memorial Lib., Urbana Univ., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Reacting to corporate takeover of broadcasting and a recurrent war mentality, Lewis Hill established the Pacifica Foundation in 1946 to serve as alternative radio. Intending to create stations dependent on listener sponsorship and participation to educate people about the futility of war, Lewis's chain of noncommercial, urban stations recorded another side of current affairs while making history themselves. Listeners to Pacifica stations were the first to hear George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," Seymour Hersh's breaking of the My Lai massacre story, Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," revelations of the FBI's illegal internal surveillance, live reports from Hanoi, and coverage of the US 1960s counterculture. Pacifica pioneered in listener sponsorship, use of the FM band, call-in radio, and both underground and community radio. All of this came at a heavy cost: stations risked loss of licenses, their personnel were arrested and jailed, their transmitters bombed. Internal conflicts led to Hill's suicide in 1957, strikes, battles for control, and (most recently) the July 1999 padlocking of Berkeley's KPFA. Although born from Land's doctoral dissertation, this history flows smoothly and provides an informed, documented (with primary sources), and interesting story of the rare, now almost extinct phenomenon of independent broadcasting. All communication collections. J. A. Lent; Temple University


Publisher's Weekly Review

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the independent Pacifica Radio Network, Land, a media critic and activist, recounts the network's history in a tight, accessible narrative. Land details how Lewis Hill and other pacifist conscientious objectors formed the Pacifica Foundation in 1946 to take their agenda beyond "ivory towerism" and to resist the "mediocrity and exploitation" that they believed defined commercial radio. After the FCC, in an era of intensified regulation, denied their idealistic AM application, Pacifica began to broadcast on FM via KPFA in the California Bay Area. Despite the network's populist intent, the station initially merited the sobriquet "Highbrow's Delight," offering classical music, intellectual roundtables and poetry alongside controversial politics. After its first decade, Pacifica expanded to New York and L.A., and as the countercultural movement gained momentum, the young network embraced the folk revival and became embroiled in a series of censorship trials over broadcasts of Ginsberg's Howl and George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." In 1962, the year longtime commentator Pauline Kael resigned in protest of Hill's domineering management of KPFA, Pacifica's New York outlet, WBAI, aired a former agent's then-shocking exposé of illegal FBI activities, a story no other network would touch. WBAI was also a leader in Vietnam coverage, sending one of the first American correspondents to Hanoi and broadcasting Seymour Hersh breaking the My Lai incident. Land acknowledges that Pacifica, like most progressive organizations, endured passionate disagreements about everything from socialist theory to air time for classical music. But unlike Matthew Lasar's Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network (Forecasts, Nov. 23), Land is less concerned with such internal divisions than with Pacifica's larger role in American culture. For Land, Pacifica embodies the power of the First Amendment, exemplifying the salutary effects of the "disruption of convention encouraged by vigorous public dissent." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Radio station KPEA began broadcasting from Berkeley, CA, in April 1949. By 1980 it had grown into the Pacifica Radio network, with stations in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and Houston and had earned a reputation for political activism, cultural discussion, and innovative programming, serving as the model for both public radio and television. Land, director of the -ISM (N.) media and diversity project in Durham, NC, covers Pacificas history and the philosophical beliefs of its founder, Lewis Hill. Land is unflinching in his presentation of the networks financial problems, internal conflicts, and court battles and also highlights Pacificas innovations, including reliance on listener financial support, talk radio programs, experimental formats, and aggressive news reporting. Lands work is not necessarily the final wordMatthew Lasers Pacifica Radio and the Rise of Alternative Radio (Temple Univ., 1999) has just been publishedbut it is engaging reading. Recommended for communications and media collections.Stephen L. Hupp, Swedenborg Memorial Lib., Urbana Univ., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Reacting to corporate takeover of broadcasting and a recurrent war mentality, Lewis Hill established the Pacifica Foundation in 1946 to serve as alternative radio. Intending to create stations dependent on listener sponsorship and participation to educate people about the futility of war, Lewis's chain of noncommercial, urban stations recorded another side of current affairs while making history themselves. Listeners to Pacifica stations were the first to hear George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," Seymour Hersh's breaking of the My Lai massacre story, Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," revelations of the FBI's illegal internal surveillance, live reports from Hanoi, and coverage of the US 1960s counterculture. Pacifica pioneered in listener sponsorship, use of the FM band, call-in radio, and both underground and community radio. All of this came at a heavy cost: stations risked loss of licenses, their personnel were arrested and jailed, their transmitters bombed. Internal conflicts led to Hill's suicide in 1957, strikes, battles for control, and (most recently) the July 1999 padlocking of Berkeley's KPFA. Although born from Land's doctoral dissertation, this history flows smoothly and provides an informed, documented (with primary sources), and interesting story of the rare, now almost extinct phenomenon of independent broadcasting. All communication collections. J. A. Lent; Temple University


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
1 The Rise of Corporate Broadcastingp. 11
2 Lew Hill's Passion and the Origins of Pacificap. 27
3 Listener-Sponsored Radicalism on Kpfap. 39
4 The Development of the Pacifica Networkp. 63
5 Free Speech Radiop. 91
6 Wbai and the Explosion of Live Radiop. 113
7 Beloved Communityp. 133
Conclusionp. 143
Notesp. 149
Bibliographyp. 161
Indexp. 173
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
1 The Rise of Corporate Broadcastingp. 11
2 Lew Hill's Passion and the Origins of Pacificap. 27
3 Listener-Sponsored Radicalism on Kpfap. 39
4 The Development of the Pacifica Networkp. 63
5 Free Speech Radiop. 91
6 Wbai and the Explosion of Live Radiop. 113
7 Beloved Communityp. 133
Conclusionp. 143
Notesp. 149
Bibliographyp. 161
Indexp. 173

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