It is tough to discuss something about War of the Worlds that has not already been discussed many many times over. So, for my presentation I would like to have some fun and hopefully spark a discussion on how War of the Worlds was received both in its initial release as well as the following radio broadcasts.
What I hope to get out of the discussion is everyone’s opinion on the powers of media and our own perception. I would like to know if anyone today could be fooled by something similar to the 1938 Welles broadcast.
There will also be a quick overview of H.G. Wells and the plot of War of the Worlds. After the presentation I will post some additional content links that I am saving!
The beginning will cover the initial 1898 release of War of the Worlds and how it was received by the general public as well as the surrounding context of Mars and astronomy of the time.
Above is a charming illustration I found by an unknown artist. Source:
Next the topic will be the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles and its reception. Was the panic real? Or was the resulting coverage of the broadcast reaction as fake as the broadcast itself?
Above is a photo of a painting that hangs in a coffee shop in the now famous Grover’s Mill NJ.
Above is a painting by Jamie Jones which is a more modern rendering of the blood sucking Martians.
I hope everyone enjoys the presentation. I am looking forward to Nora’s as well!
McDonough, J. “Today’s Audiences Are Just As Gullible As Orson Welles’s.” Wall Street Journal. (2000). Print.
MacKenzie, N. “H.G. Wells: A Biography.” New York: Simon and Schuster, (1973). Print.