Todd, Christopher Books

Christopher Todd received his Ph.D. from Queen Mary College, London. He is currently Reader in the French Department at The University of Leeds. He is the winner of the Prix 2001 de la recherche, awarded by Committee on the History of Radio.

Century of Bestsellers in France (1890-1990)
1994 0-7734-9146-5
This study, based on contemporary comments and published details of print runs and booksellers' returns, shows, through a chronological survey which takes into account the development and influence of rival media such as the cinema and television, how many best-selling works of fiction and non-fiction, of home or foreign origin, have responded to the social and intellectual needs of a particular time. Some have survived. Many others gather dust on the shelves as witnesses to a bygone age.

History of a Popular European Radio Station: From Radio Luxembourg to Rtl.fr (2 Vol Set)
2013 0-7734-4538-2
The book traces the history of a famous non-specialized commercial radio station, through from its beginnings in trans-frontier broadcasting in the 1930’s to its enviable position at the heart of a Europe-wide multi-media empire. Indeed, part of the book relates to rivalry with the BBC and other European broadcasters before and after the Second World War. The station played a pivotal role in the events of May 1968, and the evolving attitudes to homosexuality and other subjects, affecting even the use of language. Echoing the instability of the media world and the commercial and political tensions within it, the book also shows the struggle with various governments to defend freedom of expression.

Pierre Descaves, Temoin Et Pionnier De La Radio Vol. 1
2000 0-7734-7734-9
This two-volume work describes for the first time the rich and varied career of a man who was at the center of cultural life in Paris after WWII as president of the Société des Gens de lettres and as general administrator of the Comédie français, and who was above all intimately associated with French radio in various ways at an important moment in its development from 1926 to 1942 and 1944 to 1966. The son of a man of letters, and himself the author of several novels and literary memoirs, Descaves brought to his radio criticism aesthetic values. His analysis of his ideas and of those of his contemporaries allows us to appreciate the qualities and faults of different kinds of programs and to see how people wanted to defend the cultural mission of radio as a popular art form before the triumph of television. Descaves also wrote important radio plays, and a large part of the book examines the attempt to create a form of theater entirely distinct from that of the stage. In French.

Pierre Descaves, Temoin Et Pionnier De La Radio Vol. 2
2000 0-7734-7736-5
This two-volume work describes for the first time the rich and varied career of a man who was at the center of cultural life in Paris after WWII as president of the Société des Gens de lettres and as general administrator of the Comédie français, and who was above all intimately associated with French radio in various ways at an important moment in its development from 1926 to 1942 and 1944 to 1966. The son of a man of letters, and himself the author of several novels and literary memoirs, Descaves brought to his radio criticism aesthetic values. His analysis of his ideas and of those of his contemporaries allows us to appreciate the qualities and faults of different kinds of programs and to see how people wanted to defend the cultural mission of radio as a popular art form before the triumph of television. Descaves also wrote important radio plays, and a large part of the book examines the attempt to create a form of theater entirely distinct from that of the stage. In French.

Political Bias, Censorship and the Dissolution of the "Official" Press in Eighteenth Century France
1991 0-7734-9719-6
Officially approved French periodicals of the 18th century are all too easily dismissed as timid unchanging monoliths which listed nothing but ceremonial and protocol or catered for the restricted interests of a small literary elite. To counteract this, the evolution of general news coverage is described in detail here, following developments in taste and at times even risking official disapproval. Illustrates the practical difficulties of publishing news under the Old Regime and the long-term habits to which this gave rise. Uses contemporary sources to clear up misconceptions and most importantly to serve as a guide to what was expected of the press at the time and after. In order to reveal what was often missing in papers published in France, coverage of things French in the foreign press at three token periods during the century is included. The epilogue shows how officialdom in France would continue up to the 20th century to react instinctively in ways already seen under the Ancien Regime. As an Appendix a statistical analysis of part of the contents of the Gazette shows the distribution and speed of news gathering and the growth of the love of miscellaneous non-official news items. A thematic as well as a general index is also included.