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The taming of the American crowd : from stamp riots to shopping sprees

Author: Al Sandine
Publisher: New York : Monthly Review Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The history of the United States has been largely shaped, for better or for worse, by the actions of large groups of people. Rioters on a village green, shoppers lurching about a labyrinthine mall, slaves packed into the dark hold of a ship, strikers assembling outside the factory gates, all have their place in the rich and sometimes tragic history of the American crowd. This study traces that history from the days  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Al Sandine
ISBN: 9781583671979 1583671978 9781583671986 1583671986
OCLC Number: 326473123
Description: 272 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: What crowds are for --
The city mob --
Purposeful crowds in the United States --
Rollicking in the streets --
Americans at play --
The festival of the sixties --
Rioting for fun --
When crowds ruled --
Crowd rule in the ancient world --
Crowds make a revolution --
America's revolutionary crowds --
Forgotten rioters and other crowds --
Human rights melees and anti-immigrant rioting --
The St. Louis general strike --
Mass rebellion in the industrial heartland --
En masse strike support --
Ghetto eruptions --
When everyone sat down --
Killer crowds --
The crowd pathologized --
Dissecting the murderous crowd's mind --
Crowd as opportunity --
Power shows --
America on parade --
Competing lesson plans --
Dazzling the multitude --
We interrupt this message --
Pariah parade --
Every corner a classroom --
Parade as coming out --
Dissident marchers today --
Parade as happy face --
Who owns the crowd? --
Bought crowds in America --
Celebration as cultural engineering, ad, and market --
Media-driven crowds --
Retrospective appropriations --
Who owns the consumer crowd? --
Regimes of crowd control --
Crowds and the Constitution --
Invention of the police --
Experiments in self-policing --
Controlling spectators --
Screenings --
Policing non-consuming crowds --
Cracking down on dissidents --
Crowds of disaster --
Safe crowds --
The late downtown --
Residential dispersal --
Car commuters --
Shoppers --
The mall --
The compliant crowds of "Generica" --
Imitation of someplace --
Malling the downtown --
Big box churches --
Who needs crowds? --
The evolution of assembly rights --
Toward crowd obsolescence? --
Crowds and catastrophe revisited.
Responsibility: by Al Sandine.

Abstract:

The history of the United States has been largely shaped, for better or for worse, by the actions of large groups of people. Rioters on a village green, shoppers lurching about a labyrinthine mall, slaves packed into the dark hold of a ship, strikers assembling outside the factory gates, all have their place in the rich and sometimes tragic history of the American crowd. This study traces that history from the days of anti-colonial revolt to today's passive, "colonized crowds" that fill our sports arenas, commercial centers, and workplaces. The author argues for the progressive role crowds have played in securing greater democracy, civil rights, and free speech. But he also investigates crowds in their more dangerous forms, such as lynch mobs and anti-immigrant riots. This work explains how the crowd as an active subject of change, often positive, sometimes not, has been replaced by the passive crowd as object of control and regulation. Today, the imperatives of mass society organize people in large numbers to consume goods and conform to permissible behavioral patterns, not to openly contest power. But, with the world entering a new period of economic uncertainty and mass protests erupting across the globe, it is time to reverse that trend. This book shows us the history of the untamed crowd and urges us to reclaim its legacy.

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"Sandine has given us a timely and indispensable book. The Taming of the American Crowd is not only a spirited tour through centuries of crowd action and crowd control but a searching meditation on Read more...

 
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