Sunday, June 28, 2020

Agrégation anglais 2021 civilisation britannique. La BBC et le service public de l'audiovisuel . Post seven - Asa Briggs, writing the history of the BBC

As well as the powerful economic, social, cultural and psychological factors which create us and our history, the past has its fair share of unplanned accidents which have enormous effects. With respect to the BBC, two of these are
1)      the recruiting of John Reith as its first director-general (when, as he later recounted, he hadn’t heard of the word « broadcasting » before !), and
2)      the recruiting, thirty years or so later, of Asa Briggs to write a history of the BBC (which would eventually count five volumes and cover 1922-1974). By a stroke of luck, Briggs was one of the best historians Britain has produced.
Now, most of you are unlikely to get through the five volumes of Asa Briggs’s  The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom. (Vol 1 : The Birth of Broadcasting – 1961. Vol 2 : The Golden Age of Wireless (1927–1939) – 1965. Vol 3 : The War of Words (1939–1945) – 1970. Vol 4 : Sound and Vision (1945–1955) – 1979. Vol 5 : Competition (1955–1974) – 1995.) But these comments of Briggs about aspects of the writing of it are not to be missed :


Over the next six months or so I will be publishing on this blog quite a number of links to videos, articles and websites which will help you explore the history of the BBC. JM

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