When We Were Good / Edition 1

When We Were Good / Edition 1

by Robert S. Cantwell
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674951336

ISBN-13: 9780674951334

Pub. Date: 04/25/1997

Publisher: Harvard University Press

When We Were Good traces the many and varied cultural influences on the folk revival of the sixties from early nineteenth-century blackface minstrelsy; the Jewish entertainment and political cultures of New York in the 1930s; the Almanac singers and the wartime crises of the 1940s; the watershed record album Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music;

…  See more details below

Overview

When We Were Good traces the many and varied cultural influences on the folk revival of the sixties from early nineteenth-century blackface minstrelsy; the Jewish entertainment and political cultures of New York in the 1930s; the Almanac singers and the wartime crises of the 1940s; the watershed record album Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music; and finally to the cold-war reactionism of the 1950s. This drove the folk-song movement, just as Pete Seeger and the Weavers were putting "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Goodnight, Irene" on the Hit Parade, into a children's underground of schools, summer camps, and colleges, planting the seeds of the folk revival to come. The book is not so much a history as a study of the cultural process itself, what the author calls the dreamwork of history.

Cantwell shows how a body of music once enlisted on behalf of the labor movement, antifascism, New Deal recovery efforts, and many other progressive causes of the 1930s was refashioned as an instrument of self-discovery, even as it found a new politics and cultural style in the peace, civil rights, and beat movements. In Washington Square and the Newport Folk Festival, on college campuses and in concert halls across the country, the folk revival gave voice to the generational tidal wave of postwar youth, going back to the basics and trying to be very, very good.

In this capacious analysis of the ideologies, traditions, and personalities that created an extraordinary moment in American popular culture, Cantwell explores the idea of folk at the deepest level. Taking up some of the more obdurate problems in cultural studies--racial identity, art and politics, regional allegiances, class differences--he shows how the folk revival was a search for authentic democracy, with compelling lessons for our own time.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674951334
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/25/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
426
Sales rank:
846,555
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Tom Dooley History of a Song

1. We Are the Folk Backgrounds of the Revival

2. The New Minstrelsy Jim Crow and John Henry

3. Ballad for Americans The Search for a People's Opera

4. Ramblin' Round Your City The Almanac Singers

5. Wasn't That a Time Folk Music and the Cold War

6. Smith's Memory Theater The Great Folkways Anthology

7. He Shall Overcome Pete Seeger

8. Happy Campers The Children's Underground

9. Lady and the Tramp Joan Baez and Bob Dylan

10. Nobles, Patrons, Patriots, Reds Democracy and Revivalism

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >