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Blue, Howard 1941–

Blue, Howard 1941–

PERSONAL: Born October 7, 1941, in New York, NY; married Deborah Goldberg (a teacher and writer); children: Tanya, Julie, Elise. Education: Stony Brook University, B.A., 1963; Long Island University, M.A., 1970. Politics: Progressive. Hobbies and other interests: Genealogy, hiking.

ADDRESSES: Home—1951 Valentines Rd., Westbury, NY 11590. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Union Free School District, No. 4, Northport, NY, social studies teacher, 1966–98; Foreign Visitors Exchange Program with Israel and Russia, coordinator, 1987–94. Copake (NY) Citizens for Fair Taxation, cofounder.

AWARDS, HONORS: Fulbright Seminar Award, Israel, 1986; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1993; Ray Stanich Award, Friends of Old Time Radio, 2003.

WRITINGS:

Words at War: World War II-Era Radio Drama and the Postwar Broadcasting Industry Blacklist, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2002.

Contributor of translations to An Anthology of Russian Literature, edited by Nicholas Rzhevsky, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1996.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Twenty Radio and Television Shows That Helped Change America.

SIDELIGHTS: Howard Blue told CA: "My first major writing project was a master's thesis about Nikita Khrushchev. Ironically, thirty years later I was able to donate a copy of it to a scholarly institute at Brown University, headed by Khrushchev's son, Sergei.

"My overall interest in writing was influenced by some great experiences that my former students and I had interviewing interesting people. I had my students interview a cousin of Anne Frank, a former German World War I U-boat sailor, a local veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and other witnesses to history. To enable them to interview a Canadian World War I veteran of trench warfare and the copilot of the airplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, both of whom lived far from us, I set up telephone interviews using a speakerphone. My writings, like many of the best lessons that I prepared when teaching, are driven by a concern for international understanding and social justice. I studied a great deal of Russian literature in my younger years. Tolstoy and his grand view of life had a big impact on me."

"I can be compulsive when writing nonfiction. Heed the warnings that one must take breaks when sitting at a computer. My back and I learned the hard way!

"Words at War: World War II-Era Radio Drama and the Postwar Broadcasting Industry Blacklist discusses both World War II radio propaganda and the postwar broadcasting industry blacklist. I originally planned it as an anthology of World War II propaganda radio, from four countries: Britain, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and the USSR. I did some research in Moscow and in the BBC archives in England. But I changed the book's focus when I realized both how much American material there was out there and that there would be greater interest in a history of radio drama. I wrote Words at War partly to demonstrate the influence of propaganda during a crucial time in American history and partly to make a plea for the Bill of Rights about which many Americans seem to have rather ambiguous feelings.

"My interest in the Golden Age of Radio, part of the theme of Words at War, was revived while listening to BBC radio drama every evening during a 1973 sabbatical leave in London.

"I tried (unsuccessfully) to get my first book, a history of Amnesty International, published almost thirty years ago. It took me all that time to finally get one published. Part of the reason is that there's a tough market for books. My advice: Keep pluggin."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Journal of Popular Culture, August, 2004, John M. O'Toole, review of Words at War: World War II-Era Radio Drama and the Postwar Broadcasting Industry Blacklist, p. 225.

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