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, including by myself (Immaterial Culture), books contemporary with the medium’s so-called golden age are of particular interest to me as historical documents that attest to the radio play’s status and decline in American culture.
Abbot, Waldo. Handbook of Broadcasting. 2nd. ed. McGraw-Hill, 1941.
Ace, Goodman. Ladies and Gentlemen: Easy Aces. Doubleday, 1970.
Allen, Fred. Treadmill to Oblivion. Little, 1954.
Andrews, Robert Hardy. Legend of a Lady. Coward-McCann, 1949.
Bacher, William A., ed. The Treasury Star Parade. Farrar, 1942.
Barnouw, Erik. The Golden Web. Oxford UP, 1968.
Barnouw, Erik. Handbook of Radio Production. Little, 1949.
Barnouw, Erik. Radio Drama in Action. Farrar and Rhinehart, 1945.
Barnouw, Erik. A Tower in Babel. Oxford UP, 1966.
Berg, Gertrude. The Rise of the Goldbergs. Barse, 1931.
Bridson, D. G. Prospero and Ariel: The Rise and Fall of Radio. Gollancz, 1971.
Buxton, Frank, and Bill Owen. The Big Broadcast, 1920-1950. Viking, 1972.
Cantril, Hadley. The Invasion from Mars. Princeton UP, 1940.
Charteris, Leslie, ed. The Saint’s Choice of Radio Thrillers. Saint Enterprises, 1946.
Corwin, Norman. More by Corwin. Henry Holt, 1944.
Corwin, Norman. On a Note of Triumph. Simon, 1945.
Corwin, Norman. Seems Radio Is Here to Stay. CBS, 1939.
Corwin, Norman. The Plot to Overthrow Christmas. Peter Pauper, 1940.
Corwin, Norman. They Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease. Vrest Orton, 1939.
Corwin, Norman. Thirteen by Corwin. Henry Holt, 1942.
Corwin, Norman. Untitled and Other Radio Dramas. Henry Holt, 1945.
Coulter, Douglas, ed. Columbia Workshop Plays. Whittlesey-McGraw-Hill, 1939.
Crosby, John. Out of the Blue: A Book about Radio and Television. Simon, 1952.
Cuthbert, Margaret, ed. Adventure in Radio. Howell, 1945.
Dixon, Peter. Radio Sketches and How to Write Them. Stokes, 1936.
Dixon, Peter. Radio Writing. Century, 1931.
Duncan, Peter. In Town Tonight. Werner Laurie, 1951.
Ellis, Kenneth M. Dolores Divine: Guilty or Innocent? Grosset, 1931.
Felton, Felix. The Radio Play: Its Techniques and Possibilities. Sylvan, 1949.
Fox, Dixon Ryan, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, eds. The Cavalcade of America. Bradley, 1937.
Fox, Dixon Ryan, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, eds. The Cavalcade of America. Series 2. Bradley, 1938.
Fitelson, H. William, ed. The Theatre Guild on the Air. Rinehart, 1947.
Flynn, Bess. Bachelor’s Children: A Synopsis of the Radio Program. Old Dutch Cleanser, 1939.
Gaver, Jack, and Dave Stanley. There’s Laughter in the Air!. Greenberg, 1945.
Gielgud, Val. British Radio Drama, 1922-1956. Harrap, 1957.
Harmon, Jim. The Great Radio Comedians. Doubleday, 1970.
Harmon, Jim. The Great Radio Heroes. Doubleday, 1967.
Kreymborg, Alfred. The Four Apes, and Other Fables of Our Day. Loker Raley, 1939.
Lampell, Millard. The Long Way Home. Julian Messner, 1946.
Lass, A. H., Earle L. McGill, and Donald Axelrod, eds. Plays from Radio. Houghton, 1948.
Liss, Joseph, ed. Radio’s Best Plays. Greenberg, 1947.
Mackey, David R. Drama on the Air. Prentice, 1951.
MacLeish, Archibald. The Fall of the City: A Verse Play for Radio. Farrar, 1937.
MacLeish, Archibald. The Trojan Horse. Houghton Mifflin, 1952.
McGill, Earle. Radio Directing. McGraw-Hill, 1940.
Niggli, Josephina. Pointers on Radio Writing. The Writer, 1946.
Oboler, Arch. Fourteen Radio Plays. Random, 1940.
Oboler, Arch. “Ivory Tower” and Other Radio Plays. Targ, 1940.
Oboler, Arch. Oboler Omnibus: Radio Plays and Personalities. Duell, 1945.
Oboler, Arch. This Freedom: Thirteen New Radio Plays. Random, 1942.
Radio Alphabet. Hastings, 1946.
Rhymer, Mary Frances, ed. The Small House Half-way up in the Next Block. McGraw-Hill, 1972.
Rolo, Charles J. Radio Goes to War. Putnam, 1942.
Ryan, Milo. History in Sound. U of Washington P, 1963.
Slate, Sam J., and Joe Cook. It Sounds Impossible. Macmillan, 1963.
Van Loon, Hendrik Willem. Air-storming. Harcourt, 1935.
Wakeman, Frederic. The Hucksters. Rinehart, 1946.
Weiser, Norman S. ed. The Writer’s Radio Theater, 1940-1941: Outstanding Plays of the Year. Harper, 1941.
Whipple, James. How to Write for Radio. McGraw-Hill, 1938.
White, Paul W. News on the Air. Harcourt, 1947.
Wylie, Max, ed. Best Broadcasts of 1938-39. Whittlesey House, 1939.
Wylie, Max, ed. Best Broadcasts of 1939-40. Whittlesey House, 1940.
Wylie, Max, ed. Best Broadcasts of 1940-41. Whittlesey House, 1942.
Wylie, Max. Radio Writing. Farrar, 1939.