The Power of the Zoot

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-22
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr
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Flamboyant zoot suit culture, with its ties to fashion, jazz and swing music, jitterbug and Lindy Hop dancing, unique patterns of speech, and even risqueacute; experimentation with gender and sexuality, captivated the country's youth in the 1940s.The Power of the Zootis the first book to give national consideration to this famous phenomenon. Providing a new history of youth culture based on rare, in-depth interviews with former zoot-suiters, Luis Alvarez explores race, region, and the politics of culture in urban America during World War II. He argues that Mexican American and African American youths, along with many nisei and white youths, used popular culture to oppose accepted modes of youthful behavior, the dominance of white middle-class norms, and expectations from within their own communities.

Author Biography

Luis Alvarez is Associate Professor History at the University of California, San Diego

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgments and Dedicatoinp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Dignity Denied: Youth in the Early War Years
Race and Political Economyp. 15
Class Politics and Juvenile Delinquencyp. 42
The Struggle for Dignity: Zoot Style during World War II
Zoot Style and Body Politicsp. 77
Zoots, Jazz, and Public Spacep. 113
Violence and National Belongings on the Home Front
Zoot Violence in Los Angelesp. 155
Race Riots across the United States Epilogue: From Zoot Suits to Hip-Hpop. 235
Notesp. 245
Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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