In her study of key radio dramas broadcast from 1930 to 1943, Lauren Rea analyses the work of leading exponents of the genre against the wider backdrop of nation-building, intellectual movements and popular culture in Argentina. During the period that has come to be known as the infamous decade, radio serials drew on the Argentine literary canon, with writers such as Héctor Pedro Blomberg and José Andrés GonzÃ¡lez Pulido contributing to the nation-building project as they reinterpreted nineteenth-century Argentina and repackaged it for a 1930s mass audience. Thus, a historical romance set in the tumultuous dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas reveals the conflict between the message transmitted to a mass audience through popular radio drama and the work of historical revisionist intellectuals writing in the 1930s. Transmitted at the same time, GonzÃ¡lez Pulido’s gauchesque series evokes powerful notions of Argentine national identity as it explores the relationship of the gaucho with Argentina’s immigrant population and advocates for the ideal contribution of women and the immigrant population to Argentine nationhood. Rea grounds her study in archival work undertaken at the library of Argentores in Buenos Aires, which holds the only surviving collection of scripts of radio serials from the period. Rea’s book recovers the contribution that these products of popular culture made to the nation-building project as they helped to shape and promote the understanding of Argentine history and cultural identity that is widely held today.
’Lauren Rea’s discussion of three sets of radio serials offers an original and convincing perspective from which to review Argentina’s nation-building programme. Intelligently conceived and cogently argued, this is a work of the highest merit.' Evelyn Fishburn, University College London, UK 'This book significantly deepens our understanding of the way radio intersected with its local environment ... Argentine Serialised Radio Drama is a well-crafted, engaging, and valuable contribution to Latin American radio history ...' Hispanic American Historical Review 'Lauren Rea ... subjects the three sets of texts to a narrative analysis that reaches back into time and deep into the nineteenth century. By means of a close reading of the scripts themselves and the literary and wider cultural traditions that informed them, she seeks to show that these programmes engaged in a long-standing and intricate debate about Argentine nationhood.' Journal of Latin American Studies 'Rea's work is a model of intelligent cultural studies and represents well the potential of Ashgate's recently inaugurated series on New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies.' Bulletin of Spanish Studies