Against the Storm

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Against the Storm
John Masefield.jpg
The poet John Masefield portrayed himself in Against the Storm. (Photograph by E.O. Hoppé)
Genre Daytime Serial, Drama
Running time 15 min
Country USA
Language(s) English
Syndicates NBC Red,
Starring Gertrude Warner, Arnold Moss, Roger DeKoven, Joan Alexander
Creator(s) Sandra Michael
Writer(s) Sandra Michael
Director(s) Axel Gruenberg
Recording studio New York, NY
Air dates 1939 to 1952
No. of series 3
Audio format Mono
Opening theme The Song of Bernadette
Other themes Ich Liebe Dich
Sponsor(s) Ivory, Philip Morris
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Against the Storm is a radio daytime drama which had three separate runs over a 13-year period; the initial run was on the NBC Red Network from October 1939 to December 1942, with revivals of the series on the Mutual from August to October 1949 and ABC from October 1951 to June 1952. Created and written by Sandra Michael, the drama was the only daytime radio serial to ever win a Peabody Award, winning the award in 1942.[1][2] However, by the end of that year it was off the air.

The program pivoted around the activities of Professor Jason McKinley Allen (Roger DeKoven, who starred in all three runs), his wife, daughters and friends. Allen, who lived in Hawthorne, Connecticut at Deep Pool Farm, taught classes at the fictional Harper University.

With Allen an outspoken pacifist, war resistance and the dangers of fascism were underlying themes,[2] and his position as a professor made it possible for Sandra Michael to incorporate literature and poetry readings into her storylines. In one memorable episode, a shortwave broadcast from England enabled real-life Poet Laureate John Masefield to speak in Allen's fictional classroom.[3]

Axel Gruenberg directed Sandra Michael's scripts. The show's theme music was by Alfred Newman, taken from his score for The Song of Bernadette.

Variety praised a 1941 episode about a girl refugee seeing the skyscrapers of Manhattan as "one of the most distinguished and stirring broadcasts in the history of commercial daytime radio."

The serial's title was taken from King Lear: "... disconnect in watching Lear rage against the storm in a sun-drenched redwood... His rage against the storm and decline into madness are laced with lightning..."


  1. ^ Dunning, John. On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. 
  2. ^ a b Thurber, James (12 June 1948). "Soapland III – Sculptors in Ivory". The New Yorker: 48–58. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Radio: Against the Claptrap". Time. November 10, 1941. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 

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