Martin Torgoff has been a contributing editor at Interview and a producer for CNN "World Beat." He is a documentary filmmaker and the author of several books, including the bestselling Elvis: We Love You Tender and American Fool: The Roots and Improbable Rise of John Cougar Mellencamp, which won an ASCAP Deems Taylor award. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
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.
Spurred by an afternoon of reminiscing, this book is an amazing array of cultural memory and makes an ideal present for those on the verge of old-timer-itis.
Turn the pages and you'll remember:Howdy Doody The Stroll dance craze The Mod Squad Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins Hand-cranked water pumps
Because a little nostalgia (from the 50s and 60s) can go along way--Babes Remember!
Central to the book is the concept of brainpower—a term used by Lecklider to capture the ways in which journalists, writers, artists, and others invoked intelligence to embolden the majority of Americans who did not have access to institutions of higher learning. Expressions of brainpower, Lecklider argues, challenged the deeply embedded assumptions in society that intellectual capacity was the province of an educated elite, and that the working class was unreservedly anti-intellectual. Amid changes in work, leisure, and domestic life, brainpower became a means for social transformation in the modern United States. The concept thus provides an exciting vantage point from which to make fresh assessments of ongoing debates over intelligence and access to quality education.
Expressions of brainpower in the twentieth century engendered an uncomfortable paradox: they diminished the value of intellectuals (the hapless egghead, for example) while establishing claims to intellectual authority among ordinary women and men, including labor activists, women workers, and African Americans. Reading across historical, literary, and visual media, Lecklider mines popular culture as an arena where the brainpower of ordinary people was commonly invoked and frequently contested.
The book provides a broad examination of American society during the 1920s. Organized thematically, it covers rural and urban America; the changing nature of gender relationships; race relations; popular culture; the rise of mass spectator sports; and religion. Appropriate for general readers and students of history, Daily Life in Jazz Age America provides an informed and compelling narrative history and analysis of daily life within the context of broad historical change.