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With Amusement For All

Author: LeRoy Ashby
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813171326
Size: 56.39 MB
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With Amusement for All is a sweeping interpretative history of American popular culture. Providing deep insights into various individuals, events, and movements, LeRoy Ashby explores the development and influence of popular culture -- from minstrel shows to hip-hop, from the penny press to pulp magazines, from the NBA to NASCAR, and much in between. By placing the evolution of popular amusement in historical context, Ashby illuminates the complex ways in which popular culture both reflects and transforms American society. He demonstrates a recurring pattern in democratic culture by showing how groups and individuals on the cultural and social periphery have profoundly altered the nature of mainstream entertainment. The mainstream has repeatedly co-opted and sanitized marginal trends in a process that continues to shift the limits of acceptability. Ashby describes how social control and notions of public morality often vie with the bold, erotic, and sensational as entrepreneurs finesse the vagaries of the market and shape public appetites. Ashby argues that popular culture is indeed a democratic art, as it entertains the masses, provides opportunities for powerless and disadvantaged individuals to succeed, and responds to changing public hopes, fears, and desires. However, it has also served to reinforce prejudices, leading to discrimination and violence. Accordingly, the study of popular culture reveals the often dubious contours of the American dream. With Amusement for All never loses sight of pop culture's primary goal: the buying and selling of fun. Ironically, although popular culture has drawn an enormous variety of amusements from grassroots origins, the biggest winners are most often sprawling corporations with little connection to a movement's original innovators.

With Amusement For All

Author: LeRoy Ashby
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813123976
Size: 16.39 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.

With Amusement For All

Author: LeRoy Ashby
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 081314132X
Size: 77.26 MB
Format: PDF
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Popular culture is a central part of everyday life to many Americans. Personalities such as Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan are more recognizable to many people than are most elected officials. With Amusement for All is the first comprehensive history of two centuries of mass entertainment in the United States, covering everything from the penny press to Playboy, the NBA to NASCAR, big band to hip hop, and other topics including film, comics, television, sports, dance, and music. Paying careful attention to matters of race, gender, class, technology, economics, and politics, LeRoy Ashby emphasizes the complex ways in which popular culture simultaneously reflects and transforms American culture, revealing that the world of entertainment constantly evolves as it tries to meet the demands of a diverse audience. Trends in popular entertainment often reveal the tensions between competing ideologies, appetites, and values in American society. For example, in the late nineteenth century, Americans embraced "self-made men" such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie: the celebrities of the day were circus tycoons P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey, Wild West star "Buffalo Bill" Cody, professional baseball organizer Albert Spalding, and prizefighter John L. Sullivan. At the same time, however, several female performers challenged traditional notions of weak, frail Victorian women. Adah Isaacs Menken astonished crowds by wearing tights that made her appear nude while performing dangerous stunts on horseback, and the shows of the voluptuous burlesque group British Blondes often centered on provocative images of female sexual power and dominance. Ashby describes how history and politics frequently influence mainstream entertainment. When Native Americans, blacks, and other non-whites appeared in the nineteenth-century circuses and Wild West shows, it was often to perpetuate demeaning racial stereotypes -- crowds jeered Sitting Bull at Cody's shows. By the early twentieth century, however, black minstrel acts reveled in racial tensions, reinforcing stereotypes while at the same time satirizing them and mocking racist attitudes before a predominantly white audience. Decades later, Red Foxx and Richard Pryor's profane comedy routines changed American entertainment. The raw ethnic material of Pryor's short-lived television show led to a series of African-American sitcoms in the 1980s that presented common American experiences -- from family life to college life -- with black casts. Mainstream entertainment has often co-opted and sanitized fringe amusements in an ongoing process of redefining the cultural center and its boundaries. Social control and respectability vied with the bold, erotic, sensational, and surprising, as entrepreneurs sought to manipulate the vagaries of the market, control shifting public appetites, and capitalize on campaigns to protect public morals. Rock 'n Roll was one such fringe culture; in the 1950s, Elvis blurred gender norms with his androgynous style and challenged conventions of public decency with his sexually-charged performances. By the end of the 1960s, Bob Dylan introduced the social consciousness of folk music into the rock scene, and The Beatles embraced hippie counter-culture. Don McLean's 1971 anthem "American Pie" served as an epitaph for rock's political core, which had been replaced by the spectacle of hard rock acts such as Kiss and Alice Cooper. While Rock 'n Roll did not lose its ability to shock, in less than three decades it became part of the established order that it had originally sought to challenge. With Amusement for All provides the context to what Americans have done for fun since 1830, showing the reciprocal nature of the relationships between social, political, economic, and cultural forces and the way in which the entertainment world has reflected, refracted, or reinforced the values those forces represent in America.

Amusement Park Rides

Author: Martin Easdown
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1782001522
Size: 43.63 MB
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A ride on a rollercoaster is the highlight of any trip to an amusement or theme park, and such attractions have been entertaining the public for well over a century. From the first mass-produced rollercoaster, the Switchback Railway, through to the giant wooden coasters of the inter-war period, seaside historian Martin Easdown uses historic postcards and photographs to chart their development and that of other amusement rides including revolving towers, aerial rides, Ferris wheels and water chutes, all of which were produced from the late Victorian era in myriad forms. Essential to the very existence of such amusement venues as Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Margate Dreamland, these much-loved rides are not so far removed from their modern-day equivalents as they might at first appear.

The American Amusement Park

Author: Dale Samuelson
Publisher: Motorbooks International
ISBN: 9780760309810
Size: 25.51 MB
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A photographic retrospective covers more than 100 years of images from the history of the American amusement park.

Cheap Amusements

Author: Kathy Peiss
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 9781439905531
Size: 54.46 MB
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The dilemmas of work and leisure for women at the turn-of-the-century.

Sacred Places

Author: John F. Sears
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558491625
Size: 16.33 MB
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Examines how tourism satisfied cultural needs during the nineteenth century, argues that natural wonders were treated like religious shrines, and describes the commercial exploitation of these attractions

The Republic Of Rock

Author: Michael J. Kramer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199987351
Size: 73.20 MB
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In his 1967 megahit "San Francisco," Scott McKenzie sang of "people in motion" coming from all across the country to San Francisco, the white-hot center of rock music and anti-war protests. At the same time, another large group of young Americans was also in motion, less eagerly, heading for the jungles of Vietnam. Now, in The Republic of Rock, Michael Kramer draws on new archival sources and interviews to explore sixties music and politics through the lens of these two generation-changing places--San Francisco and Vietnam. From the Acid Tests of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters to hippie disc jockeys on strike, the military's use of rock music to "boost morale" in Vietnam, and the forgotten tale of a South Vietnamese rock band, The Republic of Rock shows how the musical connections between the City of the Summer of Love and war-torn Southeast Asia were crucial to the making of the sixties counterculture. The book also illustrates how and why the legacy of rock music in the sixties continues to matter to the meaning of citizenship in a global society today. Going beyond clich├ęd narratives about sixties music, Kramer argues that rock became a way for participants in the counterculture to think about what it meant to be an American citizen, a world citizen, a citizen-consumer, or a citizen-soldier. The music became a resource for grappling with the nature of democracy in larger systems of American power both domestically and globally. For anyone interested in the 1960s, popular music, and American culture and counterculture, The Republic of Rock offers new insight into the many ways rock music has shaped our ideas of individual freedom and collective belonging.

Riverview Amusement Park

Author: Dolores Haugh
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 9780738533070
Size: 63.91 MB
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Open every summer from 1904 to 1967, tells the story of the the world's largest amusement park and how it grew from twenty-two acres and three rides to 140 acres and more than one hunred attractions.