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Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression
     

Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression

by David Welky
 

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As a counterpart to research on the 1930s that has focused on liberal and radical writers calling for social revolution, David Welky offers this eloquent study of how mainstream print culture shaped and disseminated a message affirming conservative middle-class values and assuring its readers that holding to these values would get them through hard times. Through

Overview

As a counterpart to research on the 1930s that has focused on liberal and radical writers calling for social revolution, David Welky offers this eloquent study of how mainstream print culture shaped and disseminated a message affirming conservative middle-class values and assuring its readers that holding to these values would get them through hard times. Through analysis of the era's most popular newspaper stories, magazines, and books, Welky examines how voices both outside and within the media debated the purposes of literature and the meaning of cultural literacy in a mass democracy. He presents lively discussions of such topics as the newspaper treatment of the Lindbergh kidnapping, issues of race in coverage of the 1936 Olympic games, domestic dynamics and gender politics in cartoons and magazines, Superman's evolution from a radical outsider to a spokesman for the people, and the popular consumption of such novels as the Ellery Queen mysteries, Gone with the Wind, and The Good Earth. Through these close readings, Welky uncovers the subtle relationship between the messages that mainstream media strategically crafted and those that their target audience wished to hear.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Provides a timely examination of the tension between conservative tendencies in the publishing business and the progressive liberalism that resulted from widespread disillusion directed at the capitalist system.”—American Historical Review

“A launching pad for students’ own exploration of values projected by mass media both today and in the past.”—Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252092817
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Series:
History of Communication
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
280
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

David Welky is an assistant professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the coeditor of Charles A. Lindbergh: The Power and Peril of Celebrity, 1927-1941 and The Steelers Reader.

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