Popular Culture in American History

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-04-01
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


The second edition of Popular Culture in American History updates the text for a contemporary readership and explores academic developments in this area of study over the last decade. Fully revised second edition with over 50 percent new material Compact and classroom-friendly format Includes the best writing on popular culture from the 1970s onwards Essays examine pivotal moments, issues, and genres in American popular culture, from the 'penny press' to the Internet

Author Biography

Jim Cullen is Chair of the high-profile Fieldston School in New York, and a book review editor for the History News Network. His published works include The Civil War Era: An Anthology of Sources (with L. Cullen-Sizer, Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write and Think About History, Second Edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), and Sensing the Past: Hollywood Stars and Historical Visions (2013).

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors x

Preface and Acknowledgments to the Second Edition xii

Acknowledgments to the First Edition xv

Introduction: The Worldwide Web of Popular Culture 1

1 New News 11

Timeline 11

Introduction 12

Little Sheets of News and Varieties: The Penny Wonder in New York City by Isabelle Lehuu 13

Consider the Source: 33

Excerpt from “Great Astronomical Discoveries Recently Made,” from the Sun (Friday, August 28, 1835) 33

Suggested Further Reading 35

2 The World of the Stage 37

Timeline 37

Introduction 38

William Shakespeare in America by Lawrence Levine 39

Consider the Source: 59

Excerpt from Representative Men, by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1850) 60

Suggested Further Reading 66

3 The Racy Appeal of the Minstrel 67

Timeline 67

Introduction 68

The Blackface Lore Cycle by W. T. Lhamon, Jr. 71

Consider the Source: 86

Excerpts from Nineteenth-Century Minstrel Shows 86

Suggested Further Reading 88

4 Western Values 91

Timeline 91

Introduction 92

Women and the Language of Men by Jane Tompkins 94

Consider the Source: 109

First excerpt from The Virginian, by Owen Wister (1902) 110

Second excerpt from The Virginian, by Owen Wister (1902) 112

Suggested Further Reading 113

5 Moving Images 115

Timeline 115

Introduction 116

Nickel Madness by Robert Sklar 118

Consider the Source: 133

Excerpts from The Spirit of Youth, by Jane Addams (1909) 134

Suggested Further Reading 138

6 Waves of Selling 139

Timeline 139

Introduction 140

Arguments over Broadcast Advertising by Susan Smulyan 142

Consider the Source: 180

Excerpt from “Sponsoritis,” from Radio Revue magazine (1930) 180

Suggested Further Reading 181

7 The Firmament of Stardom 183

Timeline 183

Introduction 184

Fool’s Paradise: Frank Sinatra and the American Dream by Jim Cullen 186

Consider the Source: 211

“Why the Americans Are So Restless in the Midst of Their Prosperity,” from Volume 2 of Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville (1840) 211

Suggested Further Reading 215

8 Seeing Television 217

Timeline 217

Introduction 218

Reality Bites by Susan J. Douglas 220

Consider the Source: 237

Excerpts from After All, by Mary Tyler Moore (1995) 237

Suggested Further Reading 239

9 Rapping Hip-Hop 241

Timeline 241

Introduction 242

Just Keeping It Real by Tricia Rose 245

Consider the Source: 257

Excerpts from Ladies First, by Queen Latifah (1999) 257

Suggested Further Reading 259

10 Tangled Web 261

Timeline 261

Introduction 262

The Emperor’s New Modem by Lee Siegel 266

Consider the Source: 276

Excerpt from The Art of Democracy, by Jim Cullen (2002) 276

Suggested Further Reading 277

Source Credits 279

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