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1. Control Therapy: An Integrated
2. Too Intimate for Words
3. THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Original pilot
4. This is Always Enough
5. The Zero Hour 06: Program 6: The
6. An Essay on the Original of Literature
7. The Addams Family (TV series):
8. The Architectural Digest Magazine:
9. Waffle the Bear's Amazing Adventure
10. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology
11. Huck and the King of Hearts
12. First Time Customers (Dss Research
13. Athletics Champions (Interest
14. Reinventing Ourselves: Interdisciplinary
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two
16. Prospectus for Change: American
17. Empire of the Air: The Men Who
18. Entertainment Weekly January 16,

1. Control Therapy: An Integrated Approach to Psychotherapy, Health, and Healing (Wiley Series on Personality Processes)
by Deane H. Shapiro, John A. Astin
Hardcover: 370 Pages (1998-04)
list price: US$155.00 -- used & new: US$120.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047155278X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Control Therapy An Integrated Approach to Psychotherapy, Health, and Healing

Nothing is as basic to human dignity and emotional well-being as a sense of control over one's life. Little is as baneful to the integrity of the individual psyche, the quality of interpersonal relationships, or the fabric of a free society as the sense of loss of control—except, perhaps, an irrational and unceasing fear of losing it. From cradle to grave, fundamental control issues shape our personalities, determine how we interact with one another, inform virtually all our important choices, and even provide the themes of many of our most memorable dreams. And, as Deane H. Shapiro and John Astin aver in this groundbreaking book, helping clients achieve a more balanced and realistic sense of control is, ultimately, what every psychotherapeutic endeavor is all about.

Control Therapy: An Integrated Approach to Psychotherapy, Health, and Healing is both a fascinating exploration of the role of control in healthy and disordered cognitive, behavioral, and affective functioning and a practical guide to integrating control-based techniques into virtually any practice. Weaving theory, research, and clinical insight into a coherent framework, the authors identify the personal, interpersonal, and cosmic control issues that run throughout everyone's life. They explore the role of control in nearly every aspect of existence, including interpersonal relationships, family, work, and physical health. They also explain how most major psychological and behavioral disorders can be defined in terms of effective and ineffective control responses. Finally, they demonstrate that control is a major common thread running through all schools of psychotherapeutic thought, including psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic/existential.

As one of the primary objectives in writing Control Therapy was to provide therapists of all disciplines with the means of integrating control techniques into their practices, the authors have included various assessment matrixes useful in determining clients' control profile or control story and their levels, styles, and modes of control, and for identifying areas of real or imagined control deficiencies. They also provide practicable guidelines for planning interventions geared to assisting clients in self-assessing the degree of control they have over their lives, whether their control responses are functional, and, most importantly, how to develop more effective control strategies. These strategies include ways to balance and integrate both an assertive/change mode of control and a yielding/accepting mode of control.

Eloquent, wise, eminently practical, Control Therapy: An Integrated Approach to Psychotherapy, Health, and Healing is must reading for all mental health professionals.

"A landmark work documenting the importance of personal control in both mental and physical health. Drs. Shapiro and Astin do a masterful job of weaving theory and research together with practical clinical strategies for facilitating an individual's development of health, mastery, and control."—Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD (HC), Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Author of Sound Mind, Sound Body

"This is an excellent book that touches upon the very heart of control issues in health and human development. The authors offer a unique integration of scientific information and spiritual wisdom in suggesting practical methods for therapists and other health professionals. I recommend it highly."—Michael J. Mahoney, PhD

"The book will make a substantive contribution to the literature, not only for practicing clinicians looking for a theoretical framework on which to base their therapy, but also for clinical researchers interested in the construct of control."—Kenneth A. Wallston, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

"A gem, a wonderful integration, and a challenge for psychology, psychiatry, and the health care professions in general."—Gary E.R. Schwartz, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Medicine, University of Arizona

"A monumental synthesis, giving rise to something profoundly new in Western behavioral science—a wisdom-based framework for understanding self and other and the full spectrum of the possible in the therapeutic relationship."—Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, Department of Medicine, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical Center

"A masterpiece on the topic of personal control and how it can be applied in the context of psychotherapy. This is a landmark book and I recommend it highly!"—G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Professor and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington

"An exceptionally thoughtful, thorough, and comprehensive, yet highly readable, survey of a topic of major importance to our individual and societal well-being."—Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Anthropology, and Philosophy, University of California ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Control Therapy is integrative, insightful and compelling.
Control Therapy is excellent! It provided a theoretically coherent theory for integrating wisdom from the east and west into psychotherapy. After developing a clear and thoughtful foundation, the book further offered anin depth guide to using control therapy in clinical work. This book hashelped me synthesize my belief that there are times to hold on and fightfor change and there are times to let go and accept. This book has helpedme both professionally and personally. ... Read more

2. Too Intimate for Words
by John Astin
Paperback: 132 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$12.00
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Asin: 0976438607
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the dedication to this book, John Astin writes: "These words and concepts are dedicated to the Divine Mystery that cannot be spoken of, but is the source of every utterance."The great spiritual teacher Ramana Maharshi once remarked that just as one may use a thorn to remove another thorn from his hand, so too can we use concepts and words to point us beyond them. This is the spirit and essence of "Too Intimate for Words," a book of poetry and prose that invites readers to remember what in truth has never really been forgotten. As John writes in one passage: “Wake up! You are the Beloved feasting on Itself, the wave remembering that it has always been water.”About this book, best-selling author and spiritual teacher, Joan Borysenko writes: “John Astin is a modern-day Rumi. His words are a window to the Absolute, a transmission of wisdom carrying the presence, joy, and clarity of an authentic teacher.” ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Exquisite Pointing to the Oneness that We Are
John Astin interweaves poetry and prose into a beautiful expression of nondual wisdom. He gently encourages us to notice the Truth and to experience who we really are. I highly recommend this book for contemplation and times when a reminder of who we really are is needed. ... Read more

3. THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Original pilot script from the 1964-68 television series starring John Astin, Carolyn Jones, and Jackie Coogan.
by Teleplay by Ed James and Seaman Jacobs. Proposal by David Levy. Series based o
 Paperback: Pages (1964)

Asin: B00466VPGM
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4. This is Always Enough
by John Astin
Paperback: 140 Pages (2007-06-06)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.75
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Asin: 0955399955
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This Is Always Enough is an invitation, an invitation to abandon, even for one instant, all teachers and teachings, to let go of all spiritual injunctions and practices and simply meet what appears in each moment with no guidance, no maps, no reference points to tell us what is true or how we must live.In this book, John invites the reader to inquire, "What is this moment, this life like when I cease to locate myself in or identify with any conceptual framework, philosophy or religion - not Buddha's, not Jesus', not anyone's? What is it like to live with no fixed conclusions or ideas, to cease to refer to any notion in the mind about who I am or how this moment is to be lived?"In this beautiful book of simple, Zen-like poems, essays, and aphorisms, John relentlessly points the reader back to the reality that while we seek God, there is really no escaping God for there is only God, only Truth, only Life, appearing as everything that is seen, everything that is touched, everything that is heard.While we search for "something else," some other moment or experience that will make us happy, this book reminds us that there can be no other moment, that this is all there is, all there can ever be. And when we stop looking elsewhere for the miracle, the miracle will be revealed to be everything. It will be seen, right now, that the happiness and freedom that was sought was never somewhere else but always right here, as this - this experience, this state of mind, this very moment. Every breath, every sensation, the clarity, the confusion, the seeking, and the end of seeking, all of them God, all of them the Truth, all of them enough... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
This book expresses the inexpressible in very few words.It is packed with poetry that speaks directly to the mystery of a love that goes by many names:enlightenment, nonduality, liberation, God, Brahman, the Tao.

This book is about life living itself, and how that unfolds in the body/mind known as "you."The book isn't stuck in any of the conceptual loops one sometimes sees in books of this subject matter.It isn't pushing a lineage or way of pointing.This is what makes it free and fresh.

The book is constantly calling the reader to let go of philosophical conclusions about Oneness or nonduality and to stand where only love is.It isn't trying to get the reader to believe a thing.It is simply pointing very clearly to your timeless, formless beingness which then embraces time and form."Always being, always becoming."This book is pointing to a full enlightenment.It points to the embrace of emptiness and form.This is where unconditional love is revealed.

Highly recommended

Scott Kiloby

5-0 out of 5 stars Radiates Wisdom and Clarity
This beautiful collection of Zen-like poetry by John Astin radiates wisdom and the clarity of the Heart. John's expression could be a trusted resource of daily inspiration that guides you to the simplicity of this moment when "This Is Always Enough." I love this book.
~ Katie Davis, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment

4-0 out of 5 stars There Is No Escaping Who You Are
This welcomed collection of clear and poignant pointers to nondual awareness is comprised of both poems and brief prose reflections. The book's title is as elegant as it is apt, given that it readily reflects Astin's central theme that "Truth is present, before the mind ever imagines it has been lost."

As in any poetry collection, some verses are stronger than others. The lesser works appear to be prose merely re-formatted into poetic form. Also, several lyrics contain needless repetition (e.g., "I should see a certain way/I should listen a certain way/I should talk a certain way..." from This Bickering).

But in Awake & Dreaming, for example, song and source are marvelously wedded: "I am awake/and you are awake./We are the same -- /awake and peering through these forms/ that are themselves/the expressions of/this wakefulness."

And here is a jewel of a prose pointer: "In order to search for anything--peace, awareness, God, and
happiness--there must be the belief that what is sought is not already present. Find out if this is true."

Astin, who lives in northern California, pens a one-page Introduction. Alas, he tells us nothing about himself. Still, this book deserves to be savored.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and Still
Silent Retreat

The nametag
says it all:

"I am

How true.

This is indeed
what I am -
the observing silence,
and everything
that is observed.

by John Astin

To see fish at the bottom of a pond, the water needs to be both clear and still. So does the observer. John Astin renders his precise observations with the artistry of a Zen master's ink drawing. Simplicity and naturalness characterize both his poems and prose. This book is a work of art that will stop you in your tracks. Will you see the vision of reality pointed to by the words? It would be hard to miss, presented in a way that goes so directly to the heart of the matter. Indeed, why complicate it? Few writers can paint a picture of essential truths so succinctly and with such loving grace. Like a hologram, each poem somehow contains the whole.

There is also a familiarity with the ways life can slip by us, how the moment may elude us. Reading the section "Our Argument with What Is" provides invaluable insights that question our habitual ways of thinking and our unexamined assumptions. The way "All Strategies Eventually Fail" is actually good news! So what if we are going from one unknown to the next unknown? Hasn't it ever been thus, whether we realized it or not?

"There is no escaping the truth of this impermanence, is there? But who would ever want to?"

... Read more

5. The Zero Hour 06: Program 6: The Wife of the Red-Haired Man
by Rod Serling
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1997-12-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$19.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565112164
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From 1973 to 1974, radio enjoyed a return to compelling drama with "The Zero Hour", hosted by Rod Serling and featuring edge-of-your-seat dramas adapted from bestselling mystery novels. "The Wife of the Red-Haired Man" stars Patty Duke, John Astin, Howard Duff, Harold Gould and Benny Ruben. 2 cassettes. ... Read more

6. An Essay on the Original of Literature
by Daniel Defoe
Hardcover: 88 Pages (2007-10-08)
list price: US$22.10 -- used & new: US$22.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1934084018
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The young Daniel Defoe thought he was destined to become a Presbyterian minister. Instead he became a man of letters: poet, political journalist, economic essayist, novelist. In his Essay on the Original of Literature of 1726, Defoe argues for the sacred Hebrew origins of modern writing--or, as he puts it, that "Power to make the Paper speak." The work stands out as a writer's bold glorification of the craft of literature, radically understood. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Read
The "Original of Literature" provides a historical perspective on the art of writing by explaining its roots in the sacred Hebrew writings. Defoe calls for a renewal and resurgance for the skillful craft of literature. Any serious student of literature and religion will find Defoe's book eye-opening and informative. ... Read more

7. The Addams Family (TV series): Charles Addams, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Nielsen Ratings, Groucho Marx, John Astin, Gomez Addams
Paperback: 96 Pages (2010-02-24)
list price: US$46.00
Isbn: 6130490135
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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The Addams Family is an American television series based on the characters in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute series was shot in black-and-white and aired for two seasons in 64 installments on ABC from September 18, 1964 to April 8, 1966. It is often compared to its working-class rival, The Munsters, which ran for the same two seasons and achieved somewhat higher Nielsen Ratings. The show used a laugh track. ... Read more

8. The Architectural Digest Magazine: 1959: Volume 16 Number 1: Vol XVI no I: A Pictorial Digest of Outstanding Architecture, Interior Design Decoration and Landscaping
by John C. Brasfield (publisher), Sidney Eisenshtat (architect), Harris Rice Campbell (architect), Killingsworth Brady Smith (architect), John Lindsay (architect), T N Kendall (architect), Anthony & Langford (architect), Alfred Gilman (architect), William Stephenson (architect), Herbert Brownell (architect)
Paperback: 216 Pages (1959)

Asin: B000ZFHZ8U
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Original Magazine from 1959.... ... Read more

9. Waffle the Bear's Amazing Adventure
by Dandelion
 Hardcover: Pages (1997-01)
list price: US$10.00
Isbn: 1573753882
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10. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology Volume 29 Number 1, 1997
by Miles A. (Editor); Jeremias Marseille; Karl Peltzer; Lois Vanderkooi; Larry G. Peters; John A. Astin; Deane H. Shapiro, Jr. Vich
 Paperback: Pages (1997)

Asin: B001CO3GXQ
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11. Huck and the King of Hearts
by Dee Wallace Stone, Joe Piscopo, John Astin, Graham Greene Starring Chauncey Leopardi
 Paperback: Pages (1993)

Asin: B000QON4K8
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12. First Time Customers (Dss Research Report , No 36)
by Tim Williams, Maureen Astin, John Ditch
 Paperback: 161 Pages (1995-05)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0117623172
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13. Athletics Champions (Interest Books)
by John Foster
 Paperback: 80 Pages (1974-09-16)

Isbn: 0174321147
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14. Reinventing Ourselves: Interdisciplinary Education, Collaborative Learning, and Experimentation in Higher Education (JB - Anker)
Hardcover: 516 Pages (2001-01-15)
list price: US$52.00 -- used & new: US$46.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1882982355
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Reinventing Ourselves examines the experiences and lessons from more than 20 different institutions pioneering new approaches for more effective teaching and learning. Many of the colleges included in this volume began as both educational and social experiments, representing new ways of thinking about educational goals, curricular organization, institutional governance, and faculty roles and rewards. With new calls for both rethinking our approaches to teaching and learning and for reviewing the traditional boundaries within institutions and between disciplines, Reinventing Ourselves offers a rich store of ideas from which to draw.

Contents include:• Progressive experiments in higher education in the 1920s and 1930s
by Steven R. Coleman, essayist
• The innovative colleges and universities of the 1960s and 1970s
by Joy Rosenzweig Kliewer, University of Sarasota–California Campus
• Interdisciplinary education at Hampshire College
by Ann P. McNeal and Frederick Stirton Weaver, Hampshire College
• Evergreen at twenty-five: Sustaining long-term innovation
by Barbara Leigh Smith, The Evergreen State College
• Bridging theory and practice: Public service at The Evergreen State College
by Magda Costantino, Emily Decker, Jeanine L. Elliott, Tina Kuckkahn, and Helen Lee, The Evergreen State College
• Learning communities: A convergence zone for statewide educational reform
by Barbara Leigh Smith, The Evergreen State College
• Integration and assessment of service-learning in learning communities
by Karen Kashmanian Oates, New Century College and Laura Gaither, Argonauta Interiors
• Liberal education, learning communities, and the transformative quest
by Les K. Adler, Sonoma State University
• Toward an interdisciplinary epistemology: Faculty culture and institutional change
by Grant H. Cornwell and Eve W. Stoddard, St. Lawrence University
• Voices in seminar: Ideologies and identities
by Susan Fiksdal, The Evergreen State College
• Powerful pedagogies
by William H. Newell, Miami University in Oxford
• Two ways to organize interdisciplinary study around inquiry
by Donald L. Finkel, The Evergreen State College
• Multiple forms of communication in the classroom
by Mark Pedelty, University of Minnesota
• Student-active science in interdisciplinary studies: Problems and solutions
by Janet F. Ott, The Evergreen State College
• Increasing access in the sciences through interdisciplinary feminist perspectives
by Gary L. Bornzin, Fairhaven College
• Building an organization that reflects interdisciplinarity
by Anne G. Scott and Celestino Fernández, University of Arizona
• The academic department in a multidisciplinary context: An argument for the administrative holding company amidst communities of learners
by Joseph J. Comprone, University of Connecticut–Avery Point
• The importance of organizational culture
by Sandra J. Sarkela, SUNY Potsdam
• Reconceptualizing the faculty role: Alternative models
by James R. Chen, Michael V. Fortunato, Alan Mandell, Susan Oaks, and Duncan
RyanMann, SUNY Empire State College
• Interdisciplinary assessment for interdisciplinary programs
by Karl L. Schilling, State Council of Higher Education
• Students on interdisciplinary education: How they learn and what they learn
by John McCann, The Evergreen State College
• An ethnographic/folkloristic approach to analyzing and assessing the cultures of alternative institutions
by Peter Tommerup, California School of Professional Psychology
• The interdisciplinary variable: Then and now
by Julie Thompson Klein, Wayne State University
• An essay in guiding images for college teaching and learning
by Robert H. Knapp, Jr., The Evergreen State College
• New directions for alternative education
by Robert Benedetti, University of the Pacific
• Knowledge, politics, and interdisciplinary education
by Charles W. Anderson, University of Wisconsin–Madison ... Read more

15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack)
Blu-ray: Pages (2010)
-- used & new: US$8.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0043LYXJ6
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Product Description
This combo pack features a Blu-ray copy of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in high definition and a standard DVD version of the film.

Frodo and Samwise press on toward Mordor. Gollum insists on being the guide. Can anyone so corrupted by the ring be trusted? Can Frodo, increasingly under the sway of the ring, even trust himself? Meanwhile, Aragorn, drawing closer to his kingly destiny, rallies forces of good for the battles that must come. Director Peter Jackson delivers an amazing second movie that won 2 Academy Awards® and earned 6 total nominations, including Best Picture. The journey continues. So do the astonishing spectacle and splendor.


- Video: 1080p High Definition / 2.4:1

- Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio - English 6.1; Dolby Digital Español 5.1 EX

- Subtitles: English SDH & Español ... Read more

16. Prospectus for Change: American Private Higher Education (Papers Presented at Colloquia in Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Duke Endowment)
by Norman C. Francis, Alexander W. Astin, Jr. John H. Crabtree, Edward A. Knapp, Clyde de L. Ryals, The Honorable Charles W. Bray III
 Paperback: Pages (1984)

Asin: B000EGR37S
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17. Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio
by Tom Lewis, David Ossman, Otherworld Media
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1996-02-23)
list price: US$12.95
Isbn: 1576770508
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The absorbing, astounding, true story of the invention of radio broadcasting in the early 20th Century, and a long-overdue tribute to the lman who actually devised practical AM receivers and the entire FM System:Edwin Howard Armstrong.His genius gave us all a wonderful new world, but his patents were stolen by corporate greed.
The story centers around three figures central to the period:Armstrong, Lee DeForest (who claimed to have invented a lot of things), and David Sarnoff (who founded R.C.A.).
Tom Lewis' bestselling book became Ken Burns' wonderful video, but David (Firesign Theatre) Ossman's audio adaptation is the best telling of the story of any version!Steve Allen, David Ogden Stiers, Edward Asner, Bonnie Bedelia, John Astin, Gary Owens, and a magnificent cast of 90! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched volume
While there are many sources of accurate history about the three men that form the core of this book, the Author did a great job tying the interlocking lives of these titans together. An excellent and well detailed corollary to the associated Ken Burns Film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio
Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio
Anyone who is interested in the world of radio where it started and where it has come to, may be interested in knowing about this book. I found it very interesting and enlightening. I read this book years ago and bought a paperback copy to be sent to a talk show person on WLBR radio 1270 KHz in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. As one should be aware of where we came from and the background of a profession, if one profess to know how one fits into the current history of the workings of an operation/profession.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Narrow Focus, Technically Weak
The title of this book is highly misleading. It should be called "Everything You Don't Need To Know About Three Of The Men Who Made Radio In The United States." Apparently the author got hold of some voluminous archives about Lee de Forest and Edwin Armstrong, and felt compelled to use all this material without very much reference to the larger picture of the world development of the radio art. And when the author neglects the big picture, the true value of Armstrong and de Forest is trivialized.

As just one example of this author's extremely narrow focus, there is not one single entry in the index for the British Broadcasting Company, which began public radio broadcasting in 1922. This extremely parochial approach is seen throughout the entire book, which makes this volume similar in spirit to the extensive hagiography that the old Soviet empire lavished on its own inventors, who of course invented everything before anyone else did. In this book, Armstrong and de Forest are everything, and all the others are mere midgets. This is unfair both to them and everybody else, because science and technology simply don't progress in this fashion. We really don't need this kind of old-fashioned, super-hero approach to biography, which should have gone out of style long ago.

And here we encounter another fatal confusion in the author's mind. Is this book an attempt at biography, or is it a history of technology? The author can't seem to decide which he wants, so we have two books in one, making a very uncomfortable mixture.

Simple errors of fact are numerous. For example, on the very first page of the book, the author states that the electric telegraph was an invention for communicating between two individuals. This imbecile judgement totally ignores the important fact that from its very beginning, the telegraph was used to wire information to large numbers of newspapers, which then shared it with countless thousands of readers. Errors concerning the radio art are equally egregious. For example, the author states that quartz crystals were used as detectors in the early crystal sets. It would be completely impossible to use quartz, whichis totally non-conductive of electricity, in a circuit of this kind.

In this undisciplined core dump of a book, endless quantities of information are dumped onto the pages, with very little guidance to the reader concerning concerning which data is important, and which is not. This is unfortunate because there is much of great interest to be discussed, but the good stuff is overwhelmed by the trivia.

I will totally agree with another reviewer that the greedy, unscrupulous Sarnoff does not belong in the same book with Armstrong and de Forest. The author's rather loopy sense of priorities is also reflected in the endless discussion of de Forest's attempts to make it with the ladies during his college days, whereas Philo Farnsworth, who actually invented television, is discussed in two small paragraphs. More is said about Sarnoff's smoking habits than the work of Farnsworth, one of America's greatest inventors.

This book will certainly disappoint specialists in the radio art, who will expect technical details that simply aren't there. It will also disappoint those readers who want a sharply focused treatment of the larger importance of America's radio inventions to the world at large. If Tim Lewis ever designs a globe of the world, it will display the United States and nothing else. And that kind of parochial, narrow-minded viewpoint is the true tragic flaw of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The story of broadcast radio from RCAs point of view
"Empire of The Air: The Men Who Made Radio," by Tom Lewis, HarperCollins, New York, 1991.This 421 page paperback is the book that accompanied the 1990s PBS series, a three-hour presentation of the story of radio.It emphasized the role of three individuals: Lee DeForest, Howard Armstrong, and David Sarnoff.Lee DeForest invented the audion tube by inserting a grid between the plate and the filament in a vacuum tube.Howard Armstrong perfected the invention with a series of circuits that made the vacuum tube more sensitive as a radio receiver and suitable as a transmitter.Later he invented FM radio, which greatly reduced static and distortions.David Sarnoff envisioned broadcast radio and provided leadership in its successful commercialization.Later, his company, RCA, also pioneered network radio, television and color television.Modern electronics owe their origins to the electric telegraph, which first brought wires and electricity into communities across the country.Indeed, Thomas Edison and David Sarnoff both began as telegraph operators.

Although the subject of the series was radio, the true subject was Radio Corporation of America or RCA.The book covers the technical developments that made broadcast radio possible and ends with RCA being acquired by General Electric in 1985.

DeForest billed himself as "The Father of Radio," but we learn he was a tinkerer who did not understand how the audion tube worked.In an age when white Anglo-Saxon (Calvinist) Protestants attended Ivy League colleges, and ran most corporations, you would expect Armstrong to win.He was a Presbyterian, educated at Columbia University, under the then leading professor of electrical engineering, Michael Pupin.He was reportedly shy and introverted, but his intelligence was recognized early, and he began experimenting with electronics as a teenager.DeForest, on the other hand, also Presbyterian was educated at Yale University, but his father, a minister, was president of a black college in the South, Talladega College.DeForest is described as an outgoing extrovert, but as a carpetbagger in the South, he had few friends.He spent his time reading patents in the college library, where he resolved to become an inventor.He selected electricity as a promising field of study.DeForestattended Dwight Moody's prep school in Mt. Herman, MA, on his way to Yale, but his rural background meant he did not fit-in with classmates.

Sarnoff was a poor immigrant (Russian) Jew, who was forced to support the family after his father died.After selling newspapers, he learned Morse code in the telegraph department at the New York Herald.From that experience, he got a job at American Marconi,the famous radio telegraph company.When RCA it was formed, he moved into management ranks, and functioned as the technical visionary who promoted broadcast radio as a more profitable venture than the radio telegraphy business.He arranged to have "music boxes" built, and demonstrated their utility.It was Sarnoff who recognized the technical superiority of Armstrong's regenerative circuit and recommended that Marconi license it.Later, he co-operated with Armstrong's demonstration of FM radio.But it was Sarnoff, who decided to invest in television, to resist FM and then to develop alternative circuits, which he claimed were outside of Armstrong's patents.The result was a patent fight, which proved expensive to Armstrong, and ultimately led to his suicide.

American Marconi was the US branch of the Italian Marconi firm.It had been founded by Guglielmo Marconi, based on his invention of radio telegraphy.He had improved the primitive art and greatly increased signal range.He is famous for having transmitted the coded letter S across the Atlantic, but the main use for radiotelegraphy was ship to ship and ship to shore communications (as became clear after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912), plus the flexibility of building stations without the need to install cabling.Unlike the fly-by-night radio telegraph companies founded by DeForest (which set up demonstrations in various cities, sold stock, and then disappeared often without even trying to build a successful business), Marconi was an honest businessman who provided a quality service at a fair price.(DeForest was charged with fraud for one of his ventures, but was judged not guilty in a jury trial.He had been duped by promoters who ran the business end of his ventures, often leaving him with debts and taking off with the cash.)

The PBS series told the story well, but some of the details omitted should be mentioned.In spite of pending challenges to his audion patent, DeForest sold nonexclusive rights to American Telephone & Telegraph Co., i.e., the phone company--in July, 1913.They used the technology in a practical amplifier, which made possible coast-to-coast long-distance telephone service by 1915.

A Canadian university professor named Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, working in Pittsburgh, invented a spade detector that advanced the art of radio telegraphy.He successfully broadcast a playing violin to radio operators in 1906.Later he sold his patents to Westinghouse, who set up, KDKA in Pittsburgh as the first broadcast radio station in November, 1916.

RCA came about because the most powerful transmitter at the time was the alternator.General Electric became expert at manufacturing the device, but a proliferation of patents made it difficult to operate without licenses under competitors patents.GE and American Marconi decided to set up RCA, when it was realized that the American government would not allow a foreign corporation to own a technology considered essential to the national defense.Germany operated an undersea telegraph cable to the Americas, but it was promptly severed in World War I.That made Germany dependent on radio telegraphy for communications and emphasized the importance of radio as a critical national defense technology.

Others soon realized the advantage of contributing their radio patents to RCA in return for part ownership.Westinghouse and AT&T participated, but General Electric was the major shareholder, and had greatest control.Both Westinghouse and AT&T had broadcast radio stations, which they contributed to the venture.It was GE's Owen Young, who recognized Sarnoff's talents and saw to his promotion in spite of the anti-Semitic practices of the day.

World War I had a major impact on radio.Thousands of soldiers were trained in the basics of radio during their military service.After the war, they came home to build crystal sets, and some times one or two tube radio sets constructed from kits.These sets were the audience for early broadcast radio.As with the personal computer, initially it was a hobbyist market.But Sarnoff believed radio should be made available to the average man on the street with a handsome set suitable for the living room with a speaker instead of headphones.

The quest for talking movies began in about 1919.DeForest was an early participant.His technology, called Phonofilm, proved cumbersome.Warner Brothers issued the first talking films using Vitaphone, a record synchronized to the film.In 1928, RCA and GE followed with the photocell film track technology, called pallophotophone.They with Joseph Kennedy formed RKO Radio Pictures to make and distribute talking films by the purchase of the Keith-Albee-Orphium theater chain.(At the time, theater chains showed only the films produced by their companies.)RCA owned 25%.The book does not say so but apparently AT&T/Western Electric was a key developer of talking film technology especially working with Warner Brothers.They built the large speaker amplifier system that filled the theater with sound.RCA came later to the business but entered into an agreement making films with either system compatible on the same projection equipment.

RCA repeatedly encountered challenges from Federal antitrust authorities.In a settlement reached in 1926, AT&T sold its broadcast radio stations to RCA in return for an agreement to be the exclusive carrier of NBC network transmissions to its affiliated stations for a $1MM annual fee.(William Paley founded CBS independently in 1928.)In 1930, an antitrust suit forced the founding companies to divest their interests in RCA, to discontinue manufacture of radio equipment for 30 months, and to cease any non-compete agreements regarding radio equipment. RCA would license its radio technology to others resulting in a proliferation of competing brands of radio sets.In addition, Sarnoff was freed of board members of the sponsoring companies allowing him total control of RCA and its board.ABC was created in 1945 after NBC was forced to divest itself of the blue network.

Television came to RCA almost as a lark.Vladimir Zworykin, a research assistant at Westinghouse, had taken out a patent on a primitive TV camera, but Westinghouse failed to invest in the technology.Sarnoff hired him to work in RCA's Camden, NJ laboratories (on the manufacturing site of the Victor Phonograph Co. which RCA had acquired in 1929 after working with it to provide radio phonograph combinations since 1924).The Sarnoff Labs in Princeton, NJ were constructed in 1941.

RCA became the leading manufacturer of vacuum tubes.DeForest had offered his audion tube for sale almost from the beginning, but he was unable to manufacture tubes with consistent performance.RCA reduced them to standardized designs with predictable characteristics.The Princeton Lab was a developer of over 150 new types of radio tubes.In 1940, a manufacturing plant for vacuum tubes was built in Lancaster, PA.It made 20MM tubes by the end of the war in 2000 types.

Early television technology relied on unreliable, mechanical devices to receive a moving picture.RCA was forced to license Philo Farnsworth's electronic television patents.However, it galled David Sarnoff to pay for such technology.It is said he resolved never to be bested again in patent negotiations.Perhaps that is the reason he fought so hard to avoid licensing FM rights from Howard Armstrong (after Armstrong rejected his offer).

This book is loaded with historical details that make interesting reading.It includes extensive references and notes as well as a bibliography.Indexed.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book with a Major Flaw
I greatly enjoyed reading this book, and viewing the documentary that was based on it.Tom Lewis crafted an interesting, well-written story, and did his research.His facts are almost all correct, and Empire of the Air does a service in reviving interest in the history of the single most-important technological leap of the past century.(It is even more important than the Internet; the Internet has precedents--computers, telephones, TV, FAX, etc.--but radio had no precedent.It was the very first instantaneous mass-communication system in the world.)

Empire of the Air likewise portrays the personalities of "the Men Who Made Radio" almost flawlessly.In all, this is a book not only worth reading, but worth owning.

But I have one problem with Empire of the Air.How is it that How is it that Powel Crosley, Jr., the man who built the most powerful commercial radio station in the U.S. is mentioned only once, referred to in passing as an inventor in a garage?Crosley, the creator of one of the first 100 radio stations in the U.S., a man who consistently led in breaking the barriers to higher power for more than a decade, and who almost single-handedly established the market for radios (something Sarnoff tried to do six years earlier--and failed).Crosley, who bested Sarnoff's RCA in a 7-year legal battle?I can't blame Tom for the omission; I believe it is part of the aftermath of Sarnoff's revenge of persuading his contemporaries to omit Crosley from history.(There's an argument for that, but this is not the place to propound it.)

That aside, Empire of the Air deserves a place on your history bookshelf.It's on mine.
--Mike ... Read more

18. Entertainment Weekly January 16, 2004 Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey/Newlyweds, Sean Astin/Lord of the Rings, Dennis Rodman, Cheryl Hines/Curb Your Enthusiasm, John le Carre´ Inteview
Single Issue Magazine: Pages (2004)

Asin: B002JA5N74
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