Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

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W. W. Norton & Company, Nov 8, 2010 - History - 336 pages
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“A superb account of the rise of modern broadcasting.” —Financial Times

When the pirate operator Oliver Smedley shot and killed his rival Reg Calvert in Smedley’s country cottage on June 21, 1966, it was a turning point for the outlaw radio stations dotting the coastal waters of England. Situated on ships and offshore forts like Shivering Sands, these stations blasted away at the high-minded BBC’s broadcast monopoly with the new beats of the Stones and DJs like Screaming Lord Sutch. For free-market ideologues like Smedley, the pirate stations were entrepreneurial efforts to undermine the growing British welfare state as embodied by the BBC. The worlds of high table and underground collide in this riveting history.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Johns has an abiding interest in “piracy,” broadly defined. This book, though opening with a violent death in a dispute between pirate radio entrepreneurs in 1966, is really about how intellectual ... Read full review

DEATH OF A PIRATE: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A historical retelling of the pirate-radio revolution that swept throughout 1960s England.In June 1966, pirate-radio rivals Reg Calvert and Oliver Smedley faced off in Smedley's home, leaving Calvert ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE JUNE 21 1966
1
A PIRATE PEOPLE
13
ETHEREAL ENTERPRISE
37
POLTERGEISTS AND POLITICS
70
THE ABOMINABLE NOMAN
105
THE TWO TOWERS
142
THINGS ARE GETTING HOT
178
THE WAR AGAINST THE PIRATES
213
A MAN CALLED UNCLE
241
Sources and Acknowledgments
263
Notes
269
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About the author (2010)

Adrian Johns is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. Educated at Cambridge, England, Johns is a specialist on intellectual property and piracy.

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