History of International Broadcasting Vol 2, by James Wood

Book Review

The article now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to South Pacific DX Resource hosted on radiodx.com for a period of five years from October 1st 2001. Author: David Ricquish

Book Review

History of International Broadcasting
Vol 2 by James Wood
ISBN 0-85296-920-1
UKP 35 (NZ $125)

This second volume carries on from the earlier one with special emphasis on shortwave broadcasting after the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the use of propaganda broadcasts in many parts of the world.

The author covers two key topics. Firstly, there’s a separate section on many familiar SW broadcasters, ranging from BBC, VOA, Radio Australia, to Radio Canada International, Radio Nederland and others.

Various regions such as the Balkans, the former USSR states, the Arab and Islamic world, and China and SE Asia are also covered in detail.

Secondly, there are details about individual transmitter building companies, and the characteristics of various transmitter types which have been sold to various broadcasters, all of which are listed.

Radio New Zealand International’s 100kW Thomcast xmitter type TRE2315 is exactly the same as those installed in Saudi Arabia, Abul Zaabal (Egypt), and Biblis and Lampertheim in Germany (RFE/Radio Liberty).

The book covers RFE/Radio Liberty very well, and also includes the various American religious SW broadcasters which emerged as early as 1948 with FEBC in Manila, and KGEI San Francisco in 1960.

There’s a lot of fascinating information crammed into these 266 pages, many photos of studios, towers and QSL cards, and positively fascinating data about transmitters. The Russians, in particular, created immense SW broadcasting sites with up to three or four 500kW or 1000kW units using the same frequency to provide crisp clear signals for Radio Moscow anywhere in the world during the 1960’s-1980’s.

The book is part of a series History of Technology published by the Institution of Electrical Engineers in association with the Science Museum, in London. For all SW fans, this is a great book and well worth reading.

Visit the IEE website at www.iee.org.uk for ordering information, ask your local bookseller to special order, or ask your local library to consider buying the book. The Wellington Public Library currently has Volume 1 available for public loan.

Reviewer: David Ricquish, Wellington
November 2001

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