Reviewed by Richard A. D'Angelo, Executive Director, North American Shortwave Association (NASWA), in the NASWA Journal, December 2013.
Reviewed by Bart Lee in Antique Radio Classified, April 2014.
Reviewed by Eric Wenaas, Contributing Editor, Book Reviews, The AWA Journal, Antique Wireless Association, Spring 2014.
Reviewed by Gerry L. Dexter, Contributing Editor (Shortwave Broadcast), CQ Plus, March-April 2014.
Reviewed by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations, Adventist World Radio, in Wavescan, February 2, 2014.
Reviewed by Rick Lindquist in QST, May 2014.
Reviewed in "TSM Bookshelf," The Spectrum Monitor magazine, February 2014.
Reviewed by Paul McLane, Editor, Radio World, November 26, 2013.
Reviewed by Christopher H. Sterling, Editor, Communication Booknotes Quarterly, Vol. 45, Issue #1 (January-March 2014).
The Early Shortwave Stations: A Broadcasting History Through 1945 (softcover only, 331 pages, 118 photos, ISBN 978-0-7864-7411-0)
Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today was a year-by-year account of the stations on the shortwave broadcast bands, starting in 1945. In this new book, The Early Shortwave Stations: A Broadcasting History Through 1945, the same year-by-year approach is taken for the stations before 1946, starting at the time of shortwave's discovery and going through World War II.
The book consists of three parts:
Ch. 1 - Prelude to Shortwave: This section covers the period before 1923 and recounts the activities leading up to the introduction of shortwave broadcasting. It includes a discussion of the radio pioneers; the role of the amateurs, the navy and commercial wireless; early experimentation with shortwave frequencies; the role of KDKA in the start of shortwave broadcasting; and early DXing.
Ch. 2-4 - Shortwave Year-by-Year: These chapters take the reader, year-by-year, through the shortwave bands, from the very start of regular shortwave broadcasting in 1923 through World War II. For the early years the focus is on the American shortwave broadcasters, such as W8XK (KDKA), W2XAF (WGY), and W8XAL (WLW), who had the medium largely to themselves. as well as the shortwave-related issues that were important at the time: AM overcrowding, network development, and early international program exchanges. As time went on, many other domestic American broadcasters opened shortwave affiliates. These stations and their progeny were the early ancestors of the Voice of America. Soon other countries, like Holland, England and Australia, got into the act, and by the 1930s practically every country had a rudimentary shortwave broadcasting capability. The medium expanded rapidly, and many held hope that international shortwave, with its ability to bridge long distances, would make a major contribution to world peace. The radio activities of the Spanish Civil War were the first indication to the contrary, and the war years removed all doubt as shortwave's propaganda function came into full bloom. The role of shortwave broadcasting during the war is covered in detail, including those stations of uncertain provenance with distinct political messages--the clandestines.
Conclusion: This is a brief analysis of the factors that led to shortwave's growth before and during the war years.
In order to fully understand the shortwave scene each year there is some context-setting discussion of hobby issues, such as receivers, publications, clubs, etc. However, this book is mainly about the stations, including both the large international broadcasters and the numerous smaller ones that operated in Asia, Africa and Latin America and that, while less well known, were a great attraction to DXers.
The Early Shortwave Stations: A Broadcasting History Through 1945 is 7 x 10" in size and includes extensive notes, bibliography and index for those wishing to delve further into the subject. It is available from the publisher, McFarland & Co., Inc., Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640, by mail, phone, FAX or on the web. See the McFarland website www.mcfarlandbooks.com for details. It is also available from other Internet booksellers.
The author, Jerry Berg has been active in shortwave radio circles for over 50 years as listener, editor and collector. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is the co-producer of ontheshortwaves.com.