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Man reading war news aboard streetcar. San Francisco, California

[Detail] Reading war news aboard streetcar. San Francisco, California

Historical Analysis and Interpretation: Identifying an Author's Perspective

The "Man-on-the-Street" and "Dear Mr. President" recordings provided a rich source of material for radio producers. The recordings could be used to support a variety of perspectives on the United States' role in the world, the Japanese, President Roosevelt, and a variety of other topics. Listen to the recording "Dear Mr. President" prepared as a test recording for broadcast. Analyze the recording to develop insight into the perspective of its producers.

  • How did the producers of the recording illustrate the change in attitude between the summer of 1941 and February 1942? Why is this change important?
  • How did the producers use pre-recorded interviews to deal with attitudes such as isolationism, apathy, self-interest? How do the different accents and manners of speaking influence you as a listener?
  • How are music and sound effects employed to create a mood?
  • How are testimonials used to arouse the general public to support the president?
  • What was the purpose of the test recording?
  • To what extent is this recording propaganda?