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“A superb account of the rise of modern broadcasting.” —Financial Times

When the pirate operator Oliver Smedley shot and killed his rival Reg Calvert in Smedley’s country cottage on June 21, 1966, it was a turning point for the outlaw radio stations dotting the coastal waters of England. Situated on ships and offshore forts like Shivering Sands, these stations blasted away at the high-minded BBC’s broadcast monopoly with the new beats of the Stones and DJs like Screaming Lord Sutch. For free-market ideologues like Smedley, the pirate stations were entrepreneurial efforts to undermine the growing British welfare state as embodied by the BBC. The worlds of high table and underground collide in this riveting history.

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