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Popular culture in America

Author: Paul Buhle
Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, ©1987.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Popular Culture in America was first published in 1987. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Aufsatzsammlung
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Buhle
ISBN: 0816614083 9780816614080 0816614091 9780816614097
OCLC Number: 13525298
Description: xxvii, 271 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : the 1960s meet the 1980s / Paul Buhle --
TV critic's code / David Marc --
Dialectical tensions in the American media past and present / Daniel Czitrom --
Horror in American literature / Paul Buhle --
Free play and no limit : an introduction to Edward Bellamy's utopia / Franklin Rosemont --
The significance of Yiddish socialism / Paul Buhle --
Laughing their way : a background to women's humor / Ann D. Gordon --
The politics of boys' sports novels / James P. O'Brien --
Nursing illusions : nurses in popular literature / Barbara Melosh --
In pursuit of polka happiness / Angela Keil and Charles Keil --
Looking for a style : male images in country music of the 1970s / George Lipsitz --
Women in country music / Mary Bufwack and Bob Oermann. Janis Joplin was no rose / Ann D. Gordon --
Crazy music / R. Crumb --
Black music : surrealism / James Spady --
Surrealism in the comics I : Krazy Kat (George Herriman) / Franklin Rosemont --
Surrealism in the comics II : Dick Tracy (Chester Gould) / Franklin Rosemont --
As the artist sees it : interviews with comic artists / R. Crumb and Bill Griffith --
Radio voices : a child's bed of sirens / Philip Lamantia --
Backyard bombs : horror movies on TV / Nancy Joyce Peters --
Bilko : a sitcom for all seasons / Daniel Czitrom --
Prime time Jesus / Michael E. Starr --
Spelling's salvation armies / Bob Schneider --
Hegemony and me / Jim Murray --
The sitcom decade : the 1970s / David Marc --
Making a production of it / Sam Hunting. Science fiction : Philip K. Dick / Sam Hunting --
Science fiction : Ursula K. Le Guin / Paul Buhle --
Getting a handle on the cranks / Dave Wagner --
Ishmael Reed / Paul Buhle --
Three black women writers / C.L.R. James --
A writer's comment / Marge Piercy --
Humor's magic history / Paul Buhle --
Me and my feminist humor : all alone and feeling blue / Catherine Clinton.
Responsibility: Paul Buhle, editor.

Abstract:

Popular Culture in America was first published in 1987. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This book collects some of the best work from the journal Cultural Correspondence (1975–83), which editor Paul Buhle calls "the first political journal of culture to assume its readers (and writers) watched television." The twenty-four contributors are part of a new generation of cultural critics and historians who are self-conscious products of the mass culture of the fifties and sixties. Their work attempts to update an elementary democratic principle - that people seek understanding and solutions, real or fanciful, through the mechanisms available to them. Although these writers condemn the manipulative qualities of commercial culture, they just as vehemently reject most of what has passed for Marxist (or liberal or conservative) orthodoxy on popular culture. Americans, they argue, have had a unique opportunity as well as a unique need to make the most of popular culture; the collective cultural experience is our only shared past. The richness and vitality of that culture is the focus of this book.

The thirty-four essays work toward an understanding of American mass culture not through abstraction but by exploring the real pleasures of ordinary people's lives. Pulp literature (utopian and horror themes, sports and nurse novels, and contemporary science fiction); radio thrillers; TV horror movies: television evangelists; sitcoms; music (polka, country-western, blues, jazz, and rock 'n roll); comic strips (Krazy Kat, Dick Tracy, Zippy); women's humor—these and other topics are given sensitive, detailed—sometimes humorous—attention. Paul Buhle's essay, "The 1960s Meet the 1980s," discusses popular culture scholarship, drawing on a wide range of theory—the Frankfort School, art history, literary criticism, and social science approaches. Buhle argues for the importance of this scholarship as a way of understanding "that missed connection between the cultural promise of a richly diverse, democratic society and the reality at hand.

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