21 illustrations, 1 map, 4 graphs, index
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Long before the Arab Spring and its use of social media demonstrated the potent intersection between technology and revolution, the Mexican Revolution employed wireless technology in the form of radiotelegraphy and radio broadcasting to alter the course of the revolution and influence how political leaders reconstituted the government.
Radio in Revolution, an innovative study of early radio technologies and the Mexican Revolution, examines the foundational relationship between electronic wireless technologies, single-party rule, and authoritarian practices in Mexican media. J. Justin Castro bridges the Porfiriato and the Mexican Revolution, discussing the technological continuities and change that set the stage for Lázaro Cárdenas’s famous radio decree calling for the expropriation of foreign oil companies.
Not only did the nascent development of radio technology represent a major component in government plans for nation and state building, its interplay with state power in Mexico also transformed it into a crucial component of public communication services, national cohesion, military operations, and intelligence gathering. Castro argues that the revolution had far-reaching ramifications for the development of radio and politics in Mexico and reveals how continued security concerns prompted the revolutionary victors to view radio as a threat even while they embraced it as an essential component of maintaining control.