Transmitting a revolution : mass communications and the 1956 Hungarian uprising

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Palmer Pulido (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Susan McCaffray

Abstract: The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was a remarkable event in a tumultuous year. Utilizing American archival sources, this paper explores the role of mass communications before and during the uprising. The theories developed in historian Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983) are drawn upon to create an interpretive framework that furthers understanding of the reasons behind, and nature of, the revolution. The paper analyzes two types of mass communications: print media and radio broadcasting. Both means of communicating fostered the establishment of independenceminded communities in local, national, and international realms. The intellectual leadership of the revolution recovered the spirit of Hungary’s war for independence in 1848-49, which they then disseminated through mass-print media. Foreign broadcasting stations operating in Hungary created the perception of a powerful ally in the minds of listeners. These listeners then promoted this knowledge through interpersonal communication, constructing communities bound by the possibility of Western-assisted independence. On 23 October, print media and radio dictated collective action, which constructed a framework for the ignition of an armed uprising in Budapest. Radio transmissions inspired Hungarians throughout the nation to join what became a war for independence.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Hungary--History--Revolution 1956, Hungary--Politics and government--20th century
Hungary -- History -- Revolution, 1956
Hungary -- Politics and government -- 20th century

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