This article explores KGEI, an American shortwave station established in 1939 to broadcast American programming to American listeners in East Asia. At its founding,KGEI (initially called W6XBE) captured widespread enthusiasm about radio's believed ability to promote beneficial cross-cultural and economic exchanges across international borders. In practice, however, KGEI did little to further that idealistic vision. Listener reaction to this station's entertainment and news programming indicates that it became a vehicle for Americans abroad to strengthen their connections to their distant homeland and solidify their expatriate identities as American citizens. As war approached, KGEI discouraged the very international exchange it was thought to promote. KGEI's story remains pertinent today as Americans continue to debate the promises and perils of growing global entertainment and news networks.

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