Redeeming the Dial
Radio, Religion, and Popular Culture in America
Tona J. Hangen
Hangen traces the careers of three of the most successful Protestant radio evangelists--Paul Rader, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Charles Fuller--and examines the strategies they used to bring their messages to listeners across the nation. Initially shut out of network radio and free airtime, both of which were available only to mainstream Protestant and Catholic groups, evangelical broadcasters gained access to the airwaves with paid-time programming. By the mid-twentieth century millions of Americans regularly tuned in to evangelical programming, making it one of the medium's most distinctive and durable genres. The voluntary contributions of these listeners in turn helped bankroll religious radio's remarkable growth.
Revealing the entwined development of evangelical religion and modern mass media, Hangen demonstrates that the history of one is incomplete without the history of the other; both are essential to understanding American culture in the twentieth century.