Download The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age Audiobook

The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age Audiobook, by Scott Woolley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Scott Woolley Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9780062476173
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $18.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The astonishing story of America’s airwaves, the two friends—one a media mogul, the other a famous inventor—who made them available to us, and the government which figured out how to put a price on air.

This is the origin story of the airwaves—the foundational technology of the communications age—as told through the forty-year friendship of an entrepreneurial industrialist and a brilliant inventor.

David Sarnoff, the head of RCA and equal parts Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, and William Randolph Hearst, was the greatest supporter of his friend Edwin Armstrong, developer of the first amplifier, the modern radio transmitter, and FM radio. Sarnoff was convinced that Armstrong’s inventions had the power to change the way societies communicated with each other forever. He would become a visionary captain of the media industry, even predicting the advent of the Internet.

In the mid-1930s, however, when Armstrong suspected Sarnoff of orchestrating a cadre of government officials to seize control of the FM airwaves, he committed suicide. Sarnoff had a very different view of who his friend’s enemies were.

Many corrupt politicians and corporations saw in Armstrong’s inventions the opportunity to commodify our most ubiquitous natural resource—the air. This early alliance between high tech and business set the precedent for countless legal and industrial battles over broadband and licensing bandwidth, many of which continue to influence policy and debate today.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “By focusing on a handful of characters, Woolley avoids getting bogged down in excessive technological and scientific detail, legal nuances, and biographical minutiae, and instead crafts a highly readable, plot-driven narrative that illuminates the genesis of innovations that many readers take for granted.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A highly accessible and journalistic work that will fascinate general readers…[An] entertaining account of historical politics and profit in the age of mass communication, this work is recommended for dual fans of nonfiction writing and the business of media technology.”

    Library Journal

  • “Woolley packs a lot into this slim book…The author’s portraits of Sarnoff and Armstrong are precise and multidimensional…Fluidly written and well-reported.”


Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Scott Woolley is a technology and business writer who studied public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Formerly a Telecom correspondent and Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Forbes, he has written about technology and business affairs for a number of publications, including the MIT Technology Review, Fortune, and Slate. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End. His audiobook narration has won him fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards.