War of the Worlds

Steven Spieberg’s adaptation of “War of the Worlds” opens in theaters across the country today. The original novel by H.G. Wells detailed an alien invasion in Victorian England, a subversive undermining in the golden age of the British Empire.

Orson Welles created the infamous 1938 radio broadcast, which sent listeners into a state of panic when they believed that the news reports were real. The 1953 movie “The War of the Worlds” capitalized on the Cold War communist scare.

The events of 9/11 act as a backdrop to Steven Spielberg’s adaptation, which features an American family’s struggle to survive in a world of terrorists, and now, alien invaders.

Tune in for a conversation about H.G. Wells’ classic “War of the Worlds” and its meaning for the nation in different times of war.


Sean Smith, senior writer, Newsweek;

Dan Dinello, independent filmmaker and film professor, Columbia College and author of the forthcoming book “Technophobia: Science Fiction Visions of Post Human Technology”;
Alex Lubertozzi, co-editor of “The Complete War of the Worlds”;
Michele Hilmes, professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin and author of “Radio Voices: American Broadcasting, 1922-1952.”

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