Isles of Noise: Sonic Media in the Caribbean provides a wide-ranging, minutely observed view into the development of communication technologies, especially radio, in Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica from the earliest years of the twentieth century through the early 1960s. Building on Sidney Mintz's observation of Caribbean people as historically “entangled with the wider world,” historian Alejandra Bronfman traces the “commercial, political, and military concerns that shaped the material transformation of electronic communication” to reveal the complex, sometimes contradictory dialectic that characterized the impact and evolution of sonic media in the region (pp. 4, 6). A central assumption driving the book's narrative and argument is that listeners were active rather than passive, that their experience of communications technologies was shaped by their particular subjectivities and connections to a broader transnational world, and that knowledge of that “wider world” was inevitably shaped by the “mediated information to which they [had] access” (p....

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