With Amusement for All A History of American Popular Culture Since 1830

ISBN-10: 0813123976

ISBN-13: 9780813123974

Edition: 2006

Authors: LeRoy Ashby
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Description: 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 mostoften sprawling corporations with little connection to a movement's original innovators.

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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 5/12/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 712
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 2.728
Language: English

Preface
Prologue: Popular Culture on the Brink
Blackface, Barnum, and Newspaper Ballyhoo
Taming Rough Amusements, 1840s-1860s
Building an Entertainment Industry
"The Billion-Dollar Smile": From Burlesque to Vaudeville and Amusement Parks
The "Leisure Problem" at the Turn of the Century
Popular Culture and Middle-Class Respectability in the Early Twentieth Century
Battling the Great Depression
Building a Wartime Consensus in the 1940s and 1950s
Counterpoints to Consensus
Popular Culture and 1960s Ferment
Up for Grabs: Leaving the 1960s
A Pop Culture Society
Epilogue: Pop Culture in a Post-9/11 World
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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