The vision of America seen through the lyrics of its popular songs
Library JournalThe texts of academic treatises on popular culture often trivialize their subjects. Such is the case in this study by Scheurer (humanities, Franklin Univ.), who attempts to explore the mythical image of America, using a theme of ``manifest destiny,'' as promulgated in popular music. His jargon cohabits uncomfortably with the songs he discusses (e.g., ``the mytheme of the patriot's sacrifice has always been the source of the regenerative aspect of the myth''). While his chapters regarding pre-1950 culture are interesting, his hold on the significance of particular songs can be shaky. He barely mentions Barry McGuire's ``Eve of Destruction,'' (a pivotal and number one song), and wastes interpretive time on Bob Dylan's novelty ``115th Dream.'' Lacking in appeal to popular music readers generally, Scheurer's study is best suited to academic libraries supporting extensive American studies collections.-- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
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