Against the Storm

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 16, 1939, to December 25, 1942, with revivals of the series on Mutual from April 25 to October 21, 1949, and ABC from October 1, 1951, to June 27, 1952. Created and written by Sandra Michael, the drama was the only daytime radio serial to ever win a Peabody Award, for "Outstanding Entertainment in Drama"[1] in 1941.[2][3]

Against the Storm
John Masefield.jpg
The poet John Masefield portrayed himself in Against the Storm. (Photograph by E.O. Hoppé)
GenreDaytime Serial, Drama
Running time15 min
Country of originUSA
SyndicatesNBC Red,
StarringGertrude Warner, Arnold Moss, Roger DeKoven, Joan Alexander
AnnouncerRalph Edwards, Richard Stark
Created bySandra Michael
Written bySandra Michael
Directed byAxel Gruenberg
Recording studioNew York, NY
Original release1939 – 1952
No. of series3
Audio formatMono
Opening themeThe Song of Bernadette
Other themesIch Liebe Dich
Sponsored byIvory, Philip Morris
PodcastStream from

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,[3] 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.[4]

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. ^ "Search Results ("Against the Storm")". Peabody: Stories That Matter. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  2. ^ Dunning, John (7 May 1998). On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  3. ^ a b Thurber, James (12 June 1948). "Soapland III – Sculptors in Ivory". The New Yorker: 48–58. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Radio: Against the Claptrap". Time. November 10, 1941. Retrieved 1 March 2010.

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