Death of a Pirate by Adrian Johns
British Radio and the Making of the Information Age

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Mr. Johns, a University of Chicago history professor who specializes in intellectual property, portrays the British radio pirates not in the warm glow of sentimental memory that the period usually enjoys but in the historian's cold bright light. "Death of a Pirate" is, in its way, a treasure.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

“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.
 

About Adrian Johns

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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.
 
Published November 8, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 336 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Professional & Technical, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Randall Bloomquist on Nov 03 2010

Mr. Johns, a University of Chicago history professor who specializes in intellectual property, portrays the British radio pirates not in the warm glow of sentimental memory that the period usually enjoys but in the historian's cold bright light. "Death of a Pirate" is, in its way, a treasure.

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