Thomas Hazlett, "The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology" (Yale UP, 2017)


What better way to explore the history of media regulation than to go on a journey with the former chief economist of the FCC? Prior to introduction of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos. Broadcasters were attempting to drown out their rivals with powerful signals and the detrimental effect on the public interest was profound. Or was it? In The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone (Yale University Press, 2017), distinguished legal and economic scholar Thomas Hazlett challenges the notion that U.S. government intervention was vital to protect and save the industry. Hazlett argues that, for nearly a century, disruptive technologies, competition and alternative viewpoints have been quashed, by special interest groups claiming to know better. Hazlett blends his discussion on legislation with the rise of new technologies in a way that in accessible to everyone, even if you have no prior knowledge of media policy and the current landscape. This entertaining and fascinating read argues that, if you really want to achieve what is best for the public, you need to open the market to more competition.

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