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The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture : Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV

Author: Paul A Cantor
Publisher: Lexington : The University Press of Kentucky, 2012.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Cantor, Paul A. (Paul Arthur), 1945-
Invisible hand in popular culture.
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c 2012
(DLC) 2012029585
(OCoLC)788282211
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Paul A Cantor
ISBN: 9780813140841 0813140846 9780813140834 0813140838 9781283695749 128369574X
OCLC Number: 845246928
Description: 1 online resource (489 pages)
Contents: Front cover; Copyright; Contents; Preface; Introduction; Introduction to Part One; 1. The Western and Western Drama; 2. The Original Frontier; 3. Order Out of the Mid; Introduction to Part Two; 4. Mars Attacks!; 5. Flying Solo; 6. Cartman Shrugged; Introduction to Part Three; 7. The Fall of the House of Ulmer; 8. America as Wasteland in Detour; Introduction to Part Four; 9. The Truth Is Still Out There; 10. Un-American Gothic; Acknowledgments; Notes; Index.
Responsibility: Paul A. Cantor.

Abstract:

Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive conflict from another. Film and television continually pose the question: Can Americans deal with their problems on their own, or must they rely on political elites to manage their lives? In this groundbreaking work, Paul A. Cantor explores the ways in which television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, South Park, and Deadwood and films such as The Aviator and Mars Attacks! have portrayed both top-down and bottom-up models of order. Drawing on the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other proponents of freedom, Cantor contrasts the classical liberal vision of American--particularly its emphasis on the virtues of spontaneous order--with the Marxist understanding of the "culture industry" and the Hobbesian model of absolute state control.

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"Analyses how ideas about economics and political philosophy find their way into everything from Star Trek to Malcolm in the Middle." -- "Wall Street Journal"

 
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