Making of Middlebrow Culture

ISBN-10: 0807843547

ISBN-13: 9780807843543

Edition: 1992

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Description: "The proliferation of book clubs, reading groups, "outline" volumes, and new forms of book reviewing in the first half of the twentieth century influenced the tastes and pastimes of millions of Americans. Joan Rubin here provides the first comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon, the rise of American middlebrow culture, and the values encompassed by it. Rubin centers her discussion on five important expressions of the middlebrow: the founding of the Book-of-the-Month Club; the beginnings of "great books" programs; the creation of theNew York Herald Tribune's book-review section; the popularity of such works as Will Durant'sThe Story of Philosophy; and the emergence of literary radio programs. She also investigates the lives and expectations of the individuals who shaped these middlebrow institutionssuch figures as Stuart Pratt Sherman, Irita Van Doren, Henry Seidel Canby, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, John Erskine, William Lyon Phelps, Alexander Woollcott, and Clifton Fadiman. Moreover, as she pursues the significance of these cultural intermediaries who connected elites and the masses by interpreting ideas to the public, Rubin forces a reconsideration of the boundary between high culture and popular sensibility.

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 3/1/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 438
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Joan Shelley Rubin is professor of history at the University of Rochester. She is author of Songs of Ourselves: The Uses of Poetry in America.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Self, Culture, and Self-Culture in America
The "Higher Journalism" Realigned: Stuart Pratt Sherman, Irita Van Doren, and Books
Why Do You Disappoint Yourself?: The Early History of the Book-of-the-Month Club
Classics and Commercials: John Erskine and "Great Books,"
Merchant of Light: Will Durant and the Vogue of the "Outline,"
Information, Please!: Book Programs on Commercial Radio
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Permissions
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