The essays in the book are wide-ranging, covering topics of interest for sports fans who enjoy the NFL and NASCAR as well as those who like tennis and watching the Olympics. Many topics feature information about specific sports icons and favorite heroes. Additionally, many of the topics' treatments prompt engagement by purposely challenging the reader to either agree or disagree with the author's analysis.
This work examines the musician's life and career by placing him in the context of contemporary American history and culture. Dylan's music and lyrics are at the center of the analysis, while attention is also paid to how his image transformed as he moved from being the "voice of a generation" during the 1960s to becoming a bonafide rock and roll icon. Readers will appreciate the book for its in-depth, scholarly coverage that remains readable and engaging, and gain a full appreciation for Dylan's place in American history and cultural evolution.
In Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Batchelor explores the birth, life, and enduring influence of The Great Gatsby—from the book’s publication in 1925 through today’s headlines filled with celebrity intrigue, corporate greed, and a roller-coaster economy. A cultural historian, Batchelor explains why and how the novel has become part of the fiber of the American ethos and an important tool in helping readers to better comprehend their lives and the broader world around them.
A “biography” of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, this book examines The Great Gatsby’s evolution from a nearly-forgotten 1920s time capsule to a revered cultural touchstone. Batchelor explores how this embodiment of the American Dream has become an iconic part of our national folklore, how the central themes and ideas emerging from the book—from the fulfillment of the American Dream to the role of wealth in society—resonate with contemporary readers who struggle with similar uncertainties today. By exploring the timeless elements of reinvention, romanticism, and relentless pursuit of the unattainable, Batchelor confirms the novel’s status as “The Great American Novel” and, more importantly, explains to students, scholars, and fans alike what makes Gatsby so great.
Providing an exciting picture of American life at the dawn of the 20th century, this volume covers:
- Innovations in technology, such as the airplane and the automobile
-The advent of modern architecture
-The proliferation of advertising aimed at the new middle class
-Fads, games, sports, and hobbies
-Changes in fashion and cuisine
This book also features the burgeoning of the arts, including the school of realism and naturalism in literature, the first truly American music-jazz-and the new performing art that played to American tastes: vaudeville. A wealth of facts, information, and interesting sidelights not available elsewhere makes this a treasure trove for students and interested readers.
The collection spotlights the most important advertising campaigns, brands, and companies in American history, from the late 1800s to modern day. Each fact-driven essay provides insight and in-depth analysis that general readers will find fascinating as well as historical details and contextual nuance students and researchers will greatly appreciate. These volumes demonstrate why advertising is absolutely necessary, not only for companies behind the messaging, but also in defining what it means to be an American.
Whether a pop culture aficionado or a student new to the topic, American Pop provides readers with an engaging look at American culture broken down into discrete segments, as well as analysis that gives insight into societal movements, trends, fads, and events that propelled the era and the nation. In-depth chapters trace the evolution of pop culture in 11 key categories: Key Events in American Life, Advertising, Architecture, Books, Newspapers, Magazines, and Comics, Entertainment, Fashion, Food, Music, Sports and Leisure Activities, Travel, and Visual Arts. Coverage includes: How Others See Us, Controversies and scandals, Social and cultural movements, Trends and fads, Key icons, and Classroom resources. Designed to meet the high demand for resources that help students study American history and culture by the decade, this one-stop reference provides readers with a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the numerous aspects of popular culture in our country. Thoughtful examination of our rich and often tumultuous popular history, illustrated with hundreds of historical and contemporary photos, makes this the ideal source to turn to for ready reference or research.
Organized by subject, the collection enables readers to focus on a given topic or compare different subjects across cult phenomenon. Volume One of the set covers film and television topics, Volume Two examines music and literature, and Volume Three explores sports, clubs, and the cult industry. Through this investigation of sublime, transcendent, and idiosyncratic trends, readers will learn more about iconic individuals, topics, and subjects that form the vast underbelly of American culture. By revealing how tightly interwoven cult topics are with the public's broader notion of popular culture, the collection underscores the blurry line between normal and abnormal, grandiose and degradation.
Michael Chabon’s America: Magical Words, Secret Worlds, and Sacred Spaces is the first scholarly collection of essays analyzing the work of the acclaimed author. This book demonstrates how Chabon uses a broad range of styles and genres, including detective and comic book fiction, to define the American experience. These essays assess and analyze Chabon’s complete oeuvre, demonstrating his deep connection to the contemporary world and his place as a literary force.
Providing a context for understanding the author’s work from cultural, historical, and stylistic perspectives, Michael Chabon’s America is a valuable study of a celebrated author whose work deserves close examination.