There is good coverage of the early organizations supporting ham radio to include The Royal Order of the Wouff Hong. I'd always heard about the Wouff Hong and it was fascinating to read about it's humorous origins.
Bartlett covers many of the highlights of ham radios initial contributions: demonstrating the ability to relay messages across the country, providing a means of communications in support of disaster areas, and sending messages across the globe. It is amazing that amateur radio survived the post-WWI years - threatened by both the military and commercial broadcast interests. The hobby also created a commercial industry of amateur radio equipment suppliers - Bartlett describes the elaborate displays these businesses put on at the Chicago's 1933-34 World's Fair that helped capture the imagination of the public.
The best part of the book so far is Bartlett's coverage of ham radio's support to exploration in the 1920s and 30s (Chapter 7, Amateurs as Experimenters and Adventurers). Harry Wells, W3ZD, accompanied a 1929 scientific expedition to Borneo and sent reports back to hams in the states. Bertram Sandham, W6EQF supported an automobile expedition to open up an International Pacific Highway from Fairbanks, AK to Buenos Aires. The descriptions of both these portable and mobile operations are exciting and inspiring.
I'm still working through the book, so more to come.
... part 2 of the review is here