the 1950s american popular culture through history

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The 1950s

Author : William H. Young
ISBN : 0313323933
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 62 MB
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This volume presents a nuanced look at an often romanticized yet surprisingly complex time in American popular culture.

Fad Mania

Author : Cynthia Overbeck Bix
ISBN : 9781467747936
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 66. 31 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
ISBN : 9781443884228
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29. 65 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.

Selling Air Power

Author : Steve Call
ISBN : 1603440917
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 69 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.

Pop Goes The Decade The Fifties

Author : Ralph G. Giordano
ISBN : 9781440844720
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20. 73 MB
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Covering significant historical and cultural moments, public figures and celebrities, art and entertainment, and technology that influenced life during the decade, this book documents the 1950s through the lens of popular culture. • Presents a balanced perspective on the decade that debunks the popular myth that the 1950s was uniformly a happy, carefree time of wholesome fun and "the good old days" • Documents the suburban transformation that drastically changed American society • Provides data that shows television viewing statistics and viewer ratings that helps readers see the influence of television media in the 1950s • Includes a section that explores how the changes within the 1950s have a legacy that continue to affect our current cultural climate

With Amusement For All

Author : LeRoy Ashby
ISBN : 9780813171326
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70. 91 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.

The 1990s

Author : Marc Oxoby
ISBN : 0313316155
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 44 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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The last decade of the millennium was, in many ways, the most diverse and fascinating in the history of American culture. Alternative subcultures gained unprecedented exposure, manifest in such phenomena as grunge music, "gansta" rap, hip-hop fashion, raves, extreme sports, and the art of Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. Twelve narrative chapters depict the United States as brought to you by Generation X--a culture busting out in new and unforeseen ways.

The 1940 S

Author : Tim Wood
ISBN : 1932889728
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 72. 71 MB
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Text and pictures highlight the main events of the 1940s.

The Rural Gothic In American Popular Culture

Author : B. Murphy
ISBN : 9781137353726
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 36. 65 MB
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The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture argues that complex and often negative initial responses of early European settlers continue to influence American horror and gothic narratives to this day. The book undertakes a detailed analysis of key literary and filmic texts situated within consideration of specific contexts.

That Half Barbaric Twang

Author : Karen Linn
ISBN : 025206433X
Genre : Music
File Size : 63. 25 MB
Format : PDF
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This is an interpretation of the changing and conflicting images of a musical instrument as found in the national, commercial culture of the United States.

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