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This fresh and engaging account of early radio's contributions to U.S. social and cultural life brings together varied perspectives of listeners who recall the programs that delighted and enchanted them. Radio, the first electronic medium to enter the home, is examined as a chief purveyor of family entertainment and as a bridge across regional differences. Barfield draws from over 150 accounts, providing a forum and a context for listeners of early radio to share their memories - from their first impressions of "that magical box" to favorite shows. Opening chapters trace the changing perceptions of radio as a "guest" or an "invader" in U.S. homes during the exuberant 1920s, the cash-scarce 1930s, and the rapidly changing World War II and post-war years. Later chapters offer listener responses to every major program type, including news reporting and commentary, sportscasts, drama, comedy series, crime and terror shows, educational and cultural programs, children's adventure series, soap operas, audience participation shows, and musical presentations.