Jeanette Lee Atkinson on Karl Ragnar Gierow (1980) page 3
A sceptic´s way
These chronicles and features were invaluable not only for their entertainment and pedagogical content, but also for their propagandistic effect during the war years. In drawing attention to Swedish history, literature, music and national heritage, Gierow’s programs could not help but bolster public morale. His radio features are the direct counterpart of American and British wartime radio drama. For example, Gierow’s ”1914—In Memoriam” and subsequent documentaries of specific years are file Swedish equivalents of the popular British series, the ”BBC Scrapbooks.” Gierow stood in close personal and professional contact with Laurence Gilliam, head of the BBC’s feature department, and the two cooperated on a number of programs. The feature and the historical chronicle as developed by Gierow had their peak of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. With the end of the war and the accompanying demographic and social changes, the pedagogic and propagandistic feature program lost its primacy. Gradually, a more esthetically oriented literary radio play began to gain in importance.²
Gierow muses retrospectively that radio may have had a deleterious effect on his writing. In his nearly ten years of steady, hasty activity there had been no time for revision. Many of his features were written for one occasion only, and often were composed to fit a specific cast. At times Gierow dictated lines to the east as he wrote them.³ Nonetheless, Gierow’s years with radio coincided with his most active creative period. During this time he collaborated on a number of films, some of which were quite successful. From 1937 through 1946 Gierow remained active as a critic and essayist, published two volumes of poetry and saw five dramas produced.