Books on American and British Radio (1920s to early 1970s)


I began collecting books on radio (plays, broadcasting histories, commentaries and fiction) while working on “Etherized Victorians,” my doctoral study on American radio plays of the 1930s, ’40, and early ‘50s.  As a student, I relied heavily on New York City’s many great public and university libraries and copied what I thought relevant to my argument.  Gradually, I am ditching the photocopies for the real thing as I add these volumes to my personal library.

Although radio is still being written about by myself (Immaterial Culture) and others, books contemporary with the medium’s so-called golden age are of particular interest to me as historical documents that attest to the radio play’s status and decline in American culture.

Click on the covers or on some of the titles below for a bit more on these radio-related books from my collection.  [Last updated in September 2014.]

Abbot, Waldo.  Handbook of Broadcasting.  2nd. ed.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1941.

Ace, Goodman.  Ladies and Gentlemen: Easy Aces.  New York: Doubleday, 1970.

All About Amos ‘n’ Andy and Their Creators Correll and Gosden.  New York: Rand McNally, 1929.

Allen, Fred.  Treadmill to Oblivion.  Boston: Little, 1954.

Bacher, William A., ed.  The Treasury Star Parade.  New York: Farrar, 1942.

Barnouw, Erik.  The Golden Web.  New York: Oxford UP, 1968.

Barnouw, Erik.  Handbook of Radio Production.  Boston: Little, 1949.

Barnouw, Erik.  Radio Drama in Action.  New York: Farrar and Rhinehart, 1945.

Barnouw, Erik.  A Tower in Babel.  New York: Oxford UP, 1966.

Barrington, Jonah, and Fenwick.  Lord Haw-Haw of Zeesen.  London: Hutchinson, [1939].

Benét, Stephen Vincent.  We Stand United and Other Radio Scripts.  New York: Farrar, 1944.

Berg, Gertrude.  The Rise of the Goldbergs.  New York: Barse, 1931.

Berg, Gertrude, with Cherney Berg.  Molly and Me.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.

Boyd, James, ed.  The Free Company Presents.  New York: Dodd, 1941.

Bridson, D. G.  Prospero and Ariel: The Rise and Fall of Radio.  London: Gollancz, 1971.

Buxton, Frank, and Bill Owen.  The Big Broadcast, 1920-1950.  New York: Viking, 1972.

Cannell, J. C.  In Town To-Night.  London: Harrap, 1935.

Cantril, Hadley.  The Invasion from Mars. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1940.

Charteris, Leslie, ed.  The Saint’s Choice of Radio Thrillers.  Hollywood, CA: Saint Enterprises, 1946.

Chase, Francis, Jr.  Sound and Fury: An Informal History of Broadcasting.  New York: Harper, 1942.

Corwin, Norman. More by Corwin.  New York: Henry Holt, 1944.

Corwin, Norman.  On a Note of Triumph.  New York: Simon, 1945.

Corwin, Norman.  Seems Radio Is Here to Stay.  New York: CBS, 1939.

Corwin, Norman.  The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.  Mt. Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper, 1940.

Corwin, Norman.  They Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease.  Weston, VT: Vrest Orton, 1939.

Corwin, Norman.  Thirteen by Corwin.  New York: Henry Holt, 1942.

Corwin, Norman.  Untitled and Other Radio Dramas.  New York: Henry Holt, 1945.

Coulter, Douglas, ed.  Columbia Workshop Plays.  New York: Whittlesey—McGraw-Hill, 1939.

Crews, Albert.  Professional Radio Writing.  New York: Riverside-Houghton, 1946.

Cuthbert, Margaret, ed.  Adventure in Radio.  New York: Howell, 1945.

Dixon, Peter.  Radio Sketches and How to Write Them.  New York: Stokes, 1936.

Dixon, Peter.  Radio Writing.  New York: Century, 1931.

Duncan, Peter.  In Town Tonight.  London: Werner Laurie, 1951.

Eichberg, Robert.  Radio Stars of Today.  Boston: Page, 1937.

Ellis, Kenneth M.  Dolores Divine: Guilty or Innocent?  New York: Grosset, 1931.

Ellis, Kenneth M.  The Trial of Vivienne Ware.  New York: Grosset, 1930.

Felton, Felix.  The Radio Play: Its Techniques and Possibilities.  London: Sylvan, 1949.

Fox, Dixon Ryan, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, eds.  The Cavalcade of America.  Springfield, MA: Bradley, 1937.

Fox, Dixon Ryan, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, eds.  The Cavalcade of America.  Series 2.  Springfield,

        MA: Bradley, 1938.

Fitelson, H. William, ed.  The Theatre Guild on the Air.  New York: Rinehart, 1947.

Flynn, Bess.  Bachelor’s Children: A Synopsis of the Radio Program.  Chicago: Old Dutch Cleanser, 1939.

Gaver, Jack, and Dave Stanley.  There’s Laughter in the Air!.  New York: Greenberg, 1945.

Gielgud, Val.  British Radio Drama, 1922-1956.  London: Harrap, 1957.

Gielgud, Val, and Holt Marvell.  Death at Broadcasting House.  London: Rich, 1934.

Gilbert, Douglas. Floyd Gibbons: Knight of the Air.  New York: McBride, 1930.

Harmon, Jim.  The Great Radio Comedians.  New York: Doubleday, 1970.

Harmon, Jim.  The Great Radio Heroes.  New York: Doubleday, 1967.

Higby, Mary Jane.  Tune in Tomorrow.  New York: Cowles, 1968.

Husing, Ted.  My Eyes Are in My Heart.  New York: Geis, 1959.

Julian, Joseph.  This Was Radio: A Personal Memoir.  New York: Viking, 1975.

Kaplan, Milton Allen.  Radio and Poetry.  New York: Columbia UP, 1949.

Kreymborg, Alfred.  The Four Apes, and Other Fables of Our Day.  New York: Loker Raley, 1939.

Kreymborg, Alfred.  The Planets: A Modern Allegory.  New York: Farrar, 1938.

Lampell, Millard.  The Long Way Home.  New York: Julian Messner, 1946.

Landry, Robert J.  This Fascinating Radio Business.  Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946.

Lass, A. H., Earle L. McGill, and Donald Axelrod, eds.  Plays from Radio.  Boston: Houghton, 1948.

Lawton, Sherman Paxton.  Radio Continuity Types.  Boston: Expression, 1938.

Lea, Gordon.  Radio Drama.  London: Unum, 1926.

Liss, Joseph, ed.  Radio’s Best Plays.  New York: Greenberg, 1947.

Mackey, David R.  Drama on the Air.  New York: Prentice, 1951.

MacLeish, Archibald.  The American Story: Ten Broadcasts.  New York: Duell, 1944.

MacLeish, Archibald.  The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio.  New York: Farrar, 1937.

MacLeish, Archibald.  The Trojan Horse.  New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1952.

McGill, Earle.  Radio Directing.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1940.

Niggli, Josephina.  Pointers on Radio Writing.  Boston: The Writer, 1946.

Oboler, Arch. Fourteen Radio Plays.  New York: Random, 1940.

Oboler, Arch.  “Ivory Tower” and Other Radio Plays.  Chicago: Targ, 1940.

Oboler, Arch.  Oboler Omnibus: Radio Plays and Personalities.  New York: Duell, 1945.

Oboler, Arch.  This Freedom: Thirteen New Radio Plays.  New York: Random, 1942.

Priestley, J. B.  Postscripts.  London: Heineman, 1940.

Radio Alphabet.  New York: Hastings, 1946.

Rhymer, Mary Frances, ed.  The Small House Half-way up in the Next Block.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972.

Rolo, Charles J.  Radio Goes to War.  New York: Putnam, 1942.

Ryan, Milo.  History in Sound.  Seattle: U of Washington P, 1963.

Shaw, Irwin.  The Troubled Air.  New York: Random, 1951.

Siepmann, Charles A.  Radio’s Second Chance.  Boston: Little, 1946.

Slate, Sam J., and Joe Cook.  It Sounds Impossible.  New York: Macmillan, 1963.

The Story of Cheerio: By Himself.  Garden City, NY: Garden City, 1937.

Van Loon, Hendrik Willem.  Air-storming.  New York: Harcourt, 1935.

Wakeman, Frederic.  The Hucksters.  New York: Rinehart, 1946.

Weaver, Luther.  The Technique of Radio Writing.  New York: Prentice, 1948.

Weiser, Norman S. ed.  The Writer’s Radio Theater, 1940-1941: Outstanding Plays of the Year.  New

        York: Harper, 1941.

Whipple, James.  How to Write for Radio. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1938.

White, Paul W.  News on the Air.  New York: Harcourt, 1947.

Wishengrad, Morton.  The Eternal Light.  New York: Crown, 1947.

Woodfin, Jane. Of Mikes and Men.  New York: McGraw, Hill, 1951.

Wylie, Max, ed.  Best Broadcasts of 1938-39.  New York: Whittlesey House, 1939.

Wylie, Max, ed.  Best Broadcasts of 1939-40.  New York: Whittlesey House, 1940.

Wylie, Max, ed.  Best Broadcasts of 1940-41.  New York: Whittlesey House, 1942.

Wylie, Max.  Radio Writing.  New York: Farrar, 1939.