Political contestation over sound can take many forms, with profound consequences for the aural environment. One example is found in the battles over the sonic booms associated with the US government’s supersonic transport (SST) program in the 1960s and early 1970s—a program that had it been realized, would have filled the everyday soundscape with thunderous sonic blasts. This article analyzes the individuals and groups who mobilized against sonic booms and the SST and the activists’ unlikely success over the SST in 1971. Today, this victory stands as an important, if largely forgotten, victory of the early environmental movement.
The American Environmental Movement’s Lost Victory: The Fight against Sonic Booms
David Suisman is associate professor of history at the University of Delaware and associate editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. He is author of Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music and co-editor of Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. He lives in Philadelphia.
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David Suisman; The American Environmental Movement’s Lost Victory: The Fight against Sonic Booms. The Public Historian 1 November 2015; 37 (4): 111–131. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2015.37.4.111
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