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The 1950s

Author: William H. Young
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313323935
Size: 20.83 MB
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This volume presents a nuanced look at an often romanticized yet surprisingly complex time in American popular culture.

With Amusement For All

Author: LeRoy Ashby
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813123976
Size: 35.88 MB
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With Amusement for All contextualizes what Americans have done for fun since 1830, showing the reciprocal nature of the relationships among social, political, economic, and cultural forces and the ways in which the entertainment world has reflected, changed, or reinforced the values of American society.

Fad Mania

Author: Cynthia Overbeck Bix
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
ISBN: 1467747939
Size: 59.81 MB
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College students crammed into phone booths. Couples dancing until they drop. Daredevils swallowing one live goldfish after another. Streakers dashing naked down the street. Planking and flash mobs and robotic pets. These are just some of the crazy fads that have caught hold in the United States over the last century. Where do these ideas come from and why do they catch people's imagination? Fads reflect the mood and spirit of a particular time, and they offer insight into a nation's culture. The 1950s, for example, was a time of economic prosperity and technological development. Americans expressed their delight in new inventions in many creative ways. One popular craze on college campuses was to stuff as many people as possible into a phone booth. On one campus, twenty-five people managed to squeeze into a single booth! In earlier decades, marked by the Depression and World War II, dance marathon frenzy caught on. Promoters lured couples with promises of fame and monetary prizes for those who could dance for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours. And great ideas never die. Almost one hundred years later, dance marathons came back. One creative variation, the flash mob dance, attracts spontaneous performances that range from flash mob wedding dances to “Gangnam Style" K-Pop flash mobs in cities all over the world. Fad Mania! explores a century of American crazes, offering an entertaining and informative look at the major historical events of each decade and the fads that defined them. As you learn more about smiley buttons and Webkinz, you may just be able to predict this decade's next craze!

Lucky Strikes And A Three Martini Lunch

Author: Jennifer C. Dunn
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443884227
Size: 53.77 MB
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This second edition of Lucky Strikes and a Three Martini Lunch: Thinking About Television’s Mad Men explores the attributes of the AMC series that allow it to be such a popular and vital contribution to contemporary cultural discourse. Set in the 1960s in New York, the Emmy and Peabody-winning series follows the competitive, seductive, and oftentimes ruthless lives of the men and women of Madison Avenue’s advertising agencies. Many alluring and captivating qualities constitute the Mad Men experience: the way it evokes nostalgia, even from those who did not live in the era being portrayed; its interrogations of identities, and how these explorations of the past illuminate viewers’ concepts of the present; the compelling (and often heartbreaking) relationships between characters trying to make their way in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world; and the titillation of the characters’ discovery of the power of mass-mediated communication and its abilities to allow learning, information sharing, manipulation, and connection, not to mention how their journeys reflect our own in contemporary society. The essays collected in this volume speak to both fans of the show who may not typically embrace theory and criticism, as well as those who do. Additionally, this version was designed with educators in mind. It still includes engaging essays that critically analyze the show from a multitude of perspectives, but now they are organized in way to facilitate easy use in the classroom. This structure allows educators to simply construct and conduct a course using this book as a primary textbook and organize the course according to the way it is laid out. Each chapter provides any type of reader with the opportunity to think about and enjoy the show even after it is no longer on the air.

Popular Culture In The Fifties

Author: Frank A. Salamone
Publisher: University Press of Amer
Size: 54.29 MB
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In this book, Frank A. Salamone looks at the United States in the 1950s through its popular culture. He examines movies, transportation, television, advertising, music, fads, and all other aspects of the period. Its famous celebrities are placed in context and examined from that perspective. Popular Culture in the Fifties becomes a social history of the fifties, one which examines the culture with a loving but critical eye.

The Vietnam War In Popular Culture The Influence Of America S Most Controversial War On Everyday Life 2 Volumes

Author: Ron Milam
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440840474
Size: 69.58 MB
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Covering many aspects of the Vietnam War that have not been addressed before, this book supplies new perspectives from academics as well as Vietnam veterans that explore how this key conflict of the 20th century has influenced everyday life and popular culture during the war as well as for the past 50 years. • Addresses an especially eventful time in American history with long-lasting consequences—a period that has parallels with more recent events involving military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan • Provides coverage of Norman Lear, creator of the popular 1970s sitcom All In The Family, including information from a recent interview • Includes viewpoints from Vietnam combat veterans regarding how film and television portrayed the war they participated in and lived through • Supplies a chapter on the Vietnam veteran biker movement

Selling Air Power

Author: Steve Call
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 160344100X
Size: 72.19 MB
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In Selling Air Power, Steve Call provides the first comprehensive study of the efforts of post-war air power advocates to harness popular culture in support of their agenda. In the 1940s and much of the 1950s, hardly a month went by without at least one blatantly pro–air power article appearing in general interest magazines. Public fascination with flight helped create and sustain exaggerated expectations for air power in the minds of both its official proponents and the American public. Articles in the Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest, and Life trumpeted the secure future assured by American air superiority. Military figures like Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and Curtis E. LeMay, radio-television personalities such as Arthur Godfrey, cartoon figures like Steve Canyon, and actors like Jimmy Stewart played key roles in the unfolding campaign. Movies like Twelve O'Clock High!, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, and A Gathering of Eagles projected onto the public imagination vivid images confirming what was coming to be the accepted wisdom: that America's safety against the Soviet threat could best be guaranteed by air power, coupled with nuclear capability. But as the Cold War continued and the specter of the mushroom cloud grew more prominent in American minds, another, more sinister interpretation began to take hold. Call chronicles the shift away from the heroic, patriotic posture of the years just after World War II, toward the threatening, even bizarre imagery of books and movies like Catch-22, On the Beach, and Dr. Strangelove. Call's careful analysis goes beyond the public relations campaigns to probe the intellectual climate that shaped them and gave them power. Selling Air Power adds a critical layer of understanding to studies in military and aviation history, as well as American popular culture.

The Great Depression In America

Author: William H. Young
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313335228
Size: 46.38 MB
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Everything from Amos n' Andy to Zeppelins is included in this two-volume encyclopedia of popular culture during the Great Depression era. 200 entries explore the entertainments, amusements, and people of the United States during the difficult years of the 1930s.

Popular Culture In America

Author: Paul Buhle
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816614097
Size: 54.91 MB
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Essays discuss television criticism, science fiction, horror, women's humor, sports novels, country music, comic strips, and television programs

The Naked Communist Cold War Modernism And The Politics Of Popular Culture

Author: Roland Vegso
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 082324556X
Size: 24.31 MB
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The Naked Communist argues that the political ideologies of modernity were fundamentally determined by four basic figures: the world, the enemy, the secret, and the catastrophe. While the "world" names the totality that functioned as the ultimate horizon of modern political imagination, the three other figures define the necessary limits of this totality by reflecting on the limits of representation. The book highlights the enduring presence of these figures in the modern imagination through detailed analysis of a concrete historical example: American anti-Communist politics of the 1950s. Its primary objective is to describe the internal mechanisms of what we could call an anti-Communist "aesthetic ideology." The book thus traces the way anti-Communist popular culture emerged in the discourse of Cold War liberalism as a political symptom of modernism. Based on a discursive analysis of American anti-Communist politics, the book presents parallel readings of modernism and popular fiction from the 1950s (nuclear holocaust novels, spy novels, and popular political novels) in order to show that, despite the radical separation of the two cultural fields, they both participated in a common ideological program.