Culture As History: The Transformation of American Society in the Twentieth Century / Edition 1

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Overview

With amazing creativity, clarity, and wit, Warren Susman (1927-1985) takes us on a provocative tour of the highlights of American culture. By looking at all types of 20th-century culture—highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow—Susman shows how culture itself has become a battleground for competing visions of American life. Fourteen essays include such topics as the nature of American conservatism, the cultural contradictions of a consumer society, and the role of the urban experience in the development of American culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book does provide a good sense of many of Susman’s concerns and virtues: his attentiveness to the ways in which Americans have used and abused their past, his ability to combine a deeply radical sensibility with an appreciation of the conservative tradition, and his fine grasp of the ambivalence with which Americans greeted modernity in the first half of the 20th-century.”—Robert Westbrook, professor of History, University of Rochester, from Reviews in American History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588340511
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 757,234
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

WARREN SUSMAN (1927-1985) was a professor of history at Rutgers University.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
American Hieroglyphics: A Note on the Illustrations
Introduction: Toward a History of the Culture of Abundance
I History as Myth and Ideology 1
1 History and the American Intellectual: The Uses of a Usable Past 7
2 The Frontier Thesis and the American Intellectual 27
3 Uses of the Puritan Past 39
II Ideology as Culture 51
4 The Nature of American Conservatism 57
5 Socialism and Americanism 75
6 The Persistence of Reform 86
III Culture as History 99
7 Culture and Civilization: The Nineteen-Twenties 105
8 Culture Heroes: Ford, Barton, Ruth 122
9 The Culture of the Thirties 150
10 Culture and Commitment 184
11 The People's Fair: Cultural Contradictions of a Consumer Society 211
IV Transitions and Transformations 231
12 The City in American Culture 237
13 Culture and Communications 252
14 "Personality" and the Making of Twentieth-Century Culture 271
Afterwords: Past and Present in the Twentieth Century 287
Notes 291
Index 311
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