Transactions, Transgressions, Transformations: American Culture in Western Europe and Japan

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American culture has been one of the most controversial exports of the United States: greeted with enthusiasm by some, with hostility by others. Yet, few societies escape its influence. However, not all changes should be interpreted simply as "Americanization." The shaping of the postwar world has been much more complex than this term implies as is shown in this volume that explores the links between Americanization and modernity in Western Europe and Japan. In considering the impact of products and images ranging from movies and music to fashion and architecture, a multi-disciplinary group of contributors asks how American culture has been employed internationally in the articulation of postwar identities - be they national or subnational,socially sanctioned or socially transgressive. Their essays on France, Italy, Germany and Japan move beyond the simple paradigms of colonization and democratic modernization, yet retain a sensitivity to the asymmetries in the postwar power relationships between these countries and the United States. An extensive introduction historically locates changing interpretations of American influences abroad and suggests the problems and promises of "Americanization" as an analytical tool. Its comparative focus and interdisciplinary scope will appeal to a wide range of students and scholars of cold war and post-cold war history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571811073
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Heide Fehrenbach is Professor of History at the University of Northern Illinois

Uta G. Poiger is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Americanization Reconsidered
I Twentieth-Century Modernities
1 America in the German Imagination 3
2 Comparative Anti-Americanism in Western Europe 26
3 Surface above All? American Influence on Japanese Urban Space 45
II Drawing Cultural Boundaries, Forging the National
4 Persistent Myths of Americanization: German Reconstruction and the Renationalization of Postwar Cinema, 1945-1965 81
5 No More Song and Dance: French Radio Broadcast Quotas, Chansons, and Cultural Exceptions 109
III Transnational Stylings: American Music and the Politics of Identity
6 American Music, Cold War Liberalism, and German Identities 127
7 Jukebox Boys: Postwar Italian Music and the Culture of Covering 148
8 The Social Production of Difference: Imitation and Authenticity in Japanese Rap Music 166
IV De-essentializing "America" and the "Native"
9 Learning from America: Postwar Urban Recovery in West Germany 187
10 The French Cinema and Hollywood: A Case Study of Americanization 208
11 Waiting for Godzilla: Chaotic Negotiations between Post-Orientalism and Hyper-Occidentalism 224
Select Bibliography 237
Index 247
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