Kerim Yasar's Electrified Voices adds to the chorus of recent books and articles opening up new perspectives on media history beyond the confines of longstanding literary studies or film and anime studies. Yasar seeks to bring the soundscapes of the prewar era into a theoretical framework derived from both Western and Japanese sources. At its finest moments, the book delivers on the promise of “enrich[ing] our understanding of Japanese modernity and offer[ing] a major contribution to sound studies and global media history” (back cover). It seems likely to be widely adopted in classrooms and to enjoy a broad-based readership, as its release in paperback by Columbia University Press, the publishing arm of Yasar's alma mater, would suggest. This is not a book that arrives sui generis, however, and there are some unfortunate missteps that detract from what is otherwise a truly interesting study.

One of the book's strengths is...

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