Recent and Upcoming Activity

UPCOMING AND RECENT–Talks, lectures, comments, multimedia presentations, publications:

May 4, 2021: “War and Music”: a conversation about my upcoming book with Joey Thompson (Cold War Country: Music Row, the Pentagon, and the Sound of American Patriotism, forthcoming) and Lisa Gilman (My Music, My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2016). Part of the Popular Music Books in Process series, sponsored by the Pop Conference, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and IASPM-US.

Recently published: “How Military Music Works,” in Sonologia 2019: Proceedings of the International Conference on Sound Studies, edited by Fernando Iazetta et al., (Sao Paolo: ECA-USP, 2020).

Recently published: “The Political Economy of Copying” (review essay), Reviews in American History 48, no. 1 (March 2020): 152–58.

I am co-editing with Rebecca McKenna “New Approaches to Music and Sound,” a special issue of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Here’s the call.

Dec. 16, 2020: “Musical Instruments as Sonic Instruments” at Sound Instruments and Sonic Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Conference (all online)

“Capitalism and the Senses” conference sponsored by the Hagley Library on Nov. 5-6, 2020. (Co-organizer)

My review essay, “The Political Economy of Copying,” on the history of copyright appeared recently in the journal Reviews in American History.



  • Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music (Harvard University Press) 

A Choice “Outstanding Academic Titles of 2009
Winner of the Hagley Prize for the best book in business history for 2009.
Winner of the 2011 DeSantis Prize of the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.
Honorable mention, 2010 Woody Guthrie Prize, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), U.S. branch.
Certificate of Merit, 2010 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research, Best Research in General History of Recorded Sound Category, Association for Recorded Sound Collections
Reviews: The Wall Street Journal, Washington PostThe Nation, Wilson Quarterly, Washington Times,, Los Angeles Times blog, and others.

There’s also a Chinese edition.



  • Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (University of Pennsylvania Press), co-edited by David Suisman and Susan Strasser, with an introduction by David.

“This collection…is multicultural historical analysis at its best.” — Journal of American History



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