With Amusement for All: A History of American Popular Culture since 1830 / Edition 1

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With Amusement for All contextualizes what Americans have done for fun since 1830, showing the reciprocal nature of the relationships among social, political, economic, and cultural forces and the ways in which the entertainment world has reflected, changed, or reinforced the values of American society.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This thoroughly researched and thought-provoking book traces the development and sociological significance of amusements in America, from Sam Patch's crowd-thrilling leap into the Genesee Falls in 1829 through the minstrel show tradition, P.T. Barnum's special brand of "humbug," vaudeville, radio, television, professional sports, and even more recent developments. Ashby (history, Washington State Univ.; Endangered Children: Dependency, Neglect and Abuse in American History) details and analyses how amusements often illuminate clashing morals and ideologies in this country. Skillfully weaving into his discussion such critical perspectives as the immigrant experience, race, gender, technological advances, politics, and economics, he demonstrates, for instance, how 19th-century Wild West shows reinforced the politics of expansionism and how the once-criticized music of ragtime ultimately advanced not only popular music but also multiculturalism. No single author has tackled popular culture with so much breadth and depth and managed to strike a balance between the popular and scholarly approaches. Ashby's absorbing and hugely informative study will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended for academic libraries and large circulating collections.-Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Without question, the author...has researched and written a masterpiece. The book is a tour de force in its field and has made popular culture—once thought to be a frivolous area for academic study—a serious field of inquiry."— USA Today" —

"LeRoy Ashby draws on the substantial volume of historical scholarship on American popular culture produced since the 1970s to present a survey of impressive breadth on two centuries of American amusements."— Journal of American History" —

"You'll enjoy this fascinating and massively researched volume on how Americans have amused themselves and how it changed the world." — WTBF Radio" —

"In With Amusement for All, one will find a wide variety of entertainment venues - radio, television, music, sports, movies and the internet; from P.T. Barnum's "bunkum" to Sheldon Cooper's "hokum", it is all here, presented in an informative, entertaining narrative. — The Past in Review" — The Past in Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813123974
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 712
  • Sales rank: 1,262,900
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

LeRoy Ashby is Regents Professor and Claudius O. and Mary Johnson Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University. He is the author of several books, including Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church and Endangered Children: Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse in American History.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : popular culture on the brink 1
1 Blackface, Barnum, and newspaper Ballyhoo 11
2 Taming rough amusements, 1840s-1860s 41
3 Building an entertainment industry 73
4 "The billion-dollar smile" : from Burlesque to Vaudeville and amusement parks 107
5 The "leisure problem" at the turn of the century 143
6 Popular culture and middle-class respectability in the early twentieth century 176
7 Battling the Great Depression 219
8 Building a wartime consensus in the 1940s and 1950s 263
9 Counterpoints to consensus 302
10 Popular culture and 1960s ferment 348
11 Up for grabs : leaving the 1960s 394
12 A pop culture society 441
Epilogue : pop culture in a post-9/11 world 495
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