In 1946, legendary broadcaster Norman Corwin traveled to 17 countries to document the postwar world for the radio series, One World Flight. Here, recently discovered and now published for the first time, is his personal jourbanal of that historic trip.
A towering figure in broadcast history, Norman Corwin has long been known as "Radio's Poet Laureate." In the late 1930s, a creative revolution was underway in the medium. What some people still called "the wireless" was maturing from a novelty into an art form. After a ten-year career as a newspaperman, columnist, and critic-which began at the age of 17-Corwin joined the ranks of aural provocateurs such as Archibald MacLeish, Arch Oboler, and Orson Welles.
Toward the end of 1944, with an Allied victory in Europe apparently assured, CBS asked Corwin to prepare a program celebrating the anticipated event. On May 8, 1945, just after the collapse of Germany, CBS aired On a Note of Triumph, an epic aural mosaic. This program is considered to be the climax of the luminous period in radio history when writing of high merit, produced with consummate skill was nurtured and protected from commercial interference.
After the broadcast, phone calls and letters of praise flooded the network, including a letter from Carl Sandburg calling On a Note of Triumph "one of the all the all-time great American poems." Corwin went on to win the first Wendell Willkie Award-a trip around the world sponsored by Freedom House and the Common Council for American Unity. Corwin accepted the Willkie Award on the condition it would be a working trip. He wanted the opportunity to record people in various countries and develop a series of documentaries on the state of the postwar world. CBS offered full support. The thirteen-part series, One World Flight, aired in 1947.
Norman Corwin's One World Flight provides the reader with an unrivaled perspective. During Corwin's travels to 17 countries in 1946, he kept a jourbanal of his personal thoughts and observations. It was put in a drawer where it remained for decades. More than sixty years after the trip, media historian Michael Keith asked Corwin-who is now in his nineties-if he had kept a log or jourbanal of his One World travels. He had, and his analysis of international communications still rings true today.
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About the Author
Michael C. Keith is a member of the Communications Department at Boston College. He is the author of over 20 books on the electronic media, including Talking Radio, Voices in the Purple Haze, Signals in the Air, Sounds in the Dark, the classic textbook The Radio Station, and a critically acclaimed memoir The Next Better Place. Keith is the recipient of several awards, including the Stanton Fellow Award.
Mary Ann Watson is a professor of Electronic Media &Film Studies at Eastern Michigan University. She earned her Ph.D. in Communications at The University of Michigan in 1983. Watson is the author of The Expanding Vista: American Television in the Kennedy Years, published by Oxford University Press in 1990, which has become a widely referenced work in the literature of media history. She is also the author of Defining Visions: Television and the American Experience in the 20th Century, 2nd edition, published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.
Table of Contents
Foreword Norman Lear
Introduction-by the co-editors, laying the ground work on Corwin's career and the Wilkie Award
Chapter 1 One Way Ticket: NY to NY
Chapter 2 Banks of the Channel (England and France)
Chapter 3 Peace in the North (Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
Chapter 4 Ruined City (Warsaw)
Chapter 5 "Why War?" (The Soviet Union)
Chapter 6 Land of Coalition (Czechoslovakia)
Chapter 7 Friends, Romans, Egyptians (Italy and Egypt)
Chapter 8 Nehru and Others (India)
Chapter 9 Under Heaven, Broken Family (China)
Chapter 10 Big Archipelagos (Japan and the Philippines)
Chapter 11 Reverse Spring (Australia)
Chapter 12 Operation Antipodes (New Zealand)
Chapter 13 Postscript to One World
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The brilliant and revered radio scribe, Norman Corwin, wrote a personal account of his extraordinary 1946 round the world fact-finding mission and then set it aside due to other writing deadlines. Sixty years later it was discovered and now appears in book form for the benefit of anyone interested in great writing, history, and global politics. An account written with humor, insight, and compassion. A significant and important find by its coeditors, Michael C. Keith and Mary Ann Watson, who have put together a laudable and praise-worthy volume.