The Invisible Weapon: Telecommunications and International Politics, 1851-1945

Paperback | September 15, 2012

byDaniel R. Headrick

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A vital instrument of power, telecommunications is and has always been a political technology. In this book, Headrick examines the political history of telecommunications from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II. He argues that this technology gave society new options. In times of peace, the telegraph and radio were, as many predicted, instruments of peace; in times of tension, they became instruments of politics, tools for rival interests, and weapons of war. Writing in a lively, accessible style, Headrick illuminates the political aspects of informationtechnology, showing how in both World Wars, the use of radio led to a shadowy war of disinformation, cryptography, and communications intelligence, with decisive consequences.

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A vital instrument of power, telecommunications is and has always been a political technology. In this book, Headrick examines the political history of telecommunications from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of World War II. He argues that this technology gave society new options. In times of peace, the telegraph and radio were, ...

Daniel R. Headrick is Professor Emeritus of Social Science and History at Roosevelt University and author of numerous books on world history, including Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present, Technology: A World History (OUP, 2009), When Information Came of Age (OUP, 2000), The Tenta...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199930333

ISBN - 13:9780199930333

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Table of Contents

1. Telecommunications and International RelationsCharacteristics of Electrical CommunicationsTelecommunications and World HistoryInternational Telecommunications as a Field of Study2. New TechnologyOrigins of the TelegraphInternational Telegraphic CooperationThe First Submarine Telegraph CablesThe Mediterranean CablesThe First Atlantic CablesThe Red Sea CableTelegraphs to IndiaConclusion3. The Expansion of the World Cable Network, 1866-1895The Technology of CablesThe Atlantic CablesThe Cable CompaniesCables to India and AustraliaCable Rivalries in the West Indies and Latin AmericaAcross Russia to JapanCommercial Codes and the International Telegraph UnionConclusion4. Telegraphy and Imperialism in the Late Nineteenth CenturyThe Telegraph in IndiaThe Telegraph in IndochinaCables and News in the French West IndiesThe Telegraph in ChinaThe East African CablesThe West African CablesCables and Colonial ControlConclusion5. Crisis at the Turn of the Century, 1895-1901Telegraphy and DiplomacyBritish Cable Strategy to 1898Telegraphic Delays and French ImperialismGermany and the Azores AffairThe Spanish-American WarThe Fashoda IncidentThe British Strategic Cable Report of 1898The Boer War6. The Great Powers and the Cable Crisis, 1900-1913The British Pacific Cable and the "All-Red" RoutesBritish Cable Strategy, 1902-1914The American CablesFrance and the Cable CrisisGermany and the Cable CrisisConclusion7. The Beginnings of Radio, 1895-1914Marconi and the Birth of Wireless TelegraphyThe Marconi Monopoly and the Reaction of the PowersTechnological Change and Commercial RivalriesThe U.S. Navy and Radio to 1908The Continuous Ware, 1908-1914French Colonial WirelessGerman Long-Distance and Colonial RadioThe British Imperial Wireless ChainConclusion8. Cables and Radio in World War IThe Jitters of July 1914Allied Attacks on German CommunicationsGerman Attacks on Allied CommunicationsAllied Communications during the WarCensorshipPropagandaConclusion9. Communications Intelligence in World War IGovernment Cryptology before 1914Communications Intelligence on LandBritish Naval Interception and Direction-FindingGerman Codes and British Cryptanalysis in 1914British Naval Intelligence, 1915-1916The U-Boat War, 1917-1918German Communications IntelligenceThe Zimmerman Telegram10. Conflicts and Settlements, 1919-1923The Paris Peace Conference of 1919The Washington Conferences of 1920-1922The Struggle over Cables to Latin AmericaThe Radio Corporation of AmericaBritish Radio, 1919~1924German and French Radio to 1924Radio in Latin America and ChinaConclusion11. Technological Upheavals and Commercial Rivalries, 1924-1939The Distribution of Cables in the World in 1923Cable Technology in the 1920sThe New Cables, 1924-1929ITT and the TelephonesThe British ReactionFrench Colonial ShortwaveThe International Impact of ShortwaveThe British Communications MergerResponses to the British MergerThe British Dilemma: Profits versus SecurityConclusion12. Communications Intelligence in World War IIBritish and German Communications Intelligence to 1936Cipher MachinesThe Approach of War, 1936-1939The Outbreak of War, 1939-1940British Communications Intelligence in WartimeGerman Communications Intelligence in WartimeThe Battles of Britain and North AfricaGerman Spies and Allied Radio DeceptionFunkspiele, Resistance, andthe Normandy LandingThe Soviet RingsConclusion13. The War at SeaThe Cable WarCommunications and Naval Warfare in the AtlanticThe Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1944American Communications Intelligence before Pearl HarborFrom Pearl Harbor to MidwayAfter Midway14. The Changing of the GuardThe American ExpansionStrategic Cables to North Africa and EuropeThe Retreat of BritainThe Organization of Postwar CommunicationsConclusion15. Telecommunications, Information, and SecurityBibliography EssayBooks on Submarine Telegraph CablesBooks on Radio and TelecommunicationsCommunications IntelligencePrimary SourcesIndex