Description : We live in a time much like the postwar era. A time of arch political conservatism and vast social conformity. A time in which our nation’s leaders question and challenge the patriotism of those who oppose their policies. But before there was Jon Stewart, Al Franken, or Bill Maher, there were Mort Sahl, Stan Freberg, and Lenny Bruce—liberal satirists who, through their wry and scabrous comedic routines, waged war against the political ironies, contradictions, and hypocrisies of their times. Revel with a Cause is their story. Stephen Kercher here provides the first comprehensive look at the satiric humor that flourished in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. Focusing on an impressive range of comedy—not just standup comedians of the day but also satirical publications like MAD magazine, improvisational theater groups such asSecond City, the motion picture Dr. Strangelove, and TV shows like That Was the Week That Was—Kercher reminds us that the postwar era saw varieties of comic expression that were more challenging and nonconformist than we commonly remember. His history of these comedic luminaries shows that for a sizeable audience of educated, middle-class Americans who shared such liberal views, the period’s satire was a crucial mode of cultural dissent. For such individuals, satire was a vehicle through which concerns over the suppression of civil liberties, Cold War foreign policies, blind social conformity, and our heated racial crisis could be productively addressed. A vibrant and probing look at some of the most influential comedy of mid-twentieth-century America, Revel with a Cause belongs on the short list of essential books for anyone interested in the relationship between American politics and popular culture.
Description : Madame de Souza was an eighteenth-century political journalist of undisputed talent. She did not fear to accuse religion of falsely justifying intolerant political attitudes, or using indoctrination for little human gain. She dared to show that this achieved immediate social dislocation, and, in the long-term, grief and financial dysfunction. Eugénie et Mathilde, which documents revolutionary decisions made in Emigration, and the irrevocable futility of losing family, home, rank and property in war, fully reflects her approach. It is a complex and compelling story of one family and its experience of 1789-1797 - the years of exile during the French Revolution. Heart-rending decisions, forced departures, capital punishment and death of loved-ones make the novel as topical now as it was on the eve of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign. Souza’s plea for tolerance, fraternity and compromise on the part of the State and its enemies has a relevance that stretches out to the 21st Century; her message to include women in politics and not to make them suffer the unnecessary death of fathers, husbands, children and friends is even more current.This edition lifts the veil on a literary form of anti-sentimental romance, or the art of making historically accurate accounts masquerade as fiction. That, more than anything else, was Madame de Souza’s forte.
Description : When Khan Batu and his Golden Horde were storming across Eastern Europe to lay waste to the disunited kingdoms of Christendom, a Knight of St John set out from Northamptonshire, in England, for the Holy Land. Hugh Revel, Master of the Hospitaller Knights of St John was the first and possibly only Englishman to have led the Order before the present Grand Master, Fra? Andrew Bertie. The Order of St John was a group of religious men dedicated to helping the sick and the poor. In this book Cecil Humphery-Smith identifies the work of one of its greatest Masters.
Description : In the 1970s, while politicians and activists outside prisons debated the proper response to crime, incarcerated people helped shape those debates though a broad range of remarkable political and literary writings. Lee Bernstein explores the forces that sparked a dramatic "prison art renaissance," shedding light on how incarcerated people produced powerful works of writing, performance, and visual art. These included everything from George Jackson's revolutionary Soledad Brother to Miguel Pinero's acclaimed off-Broadway play and Hollywood film Short Eyes. An extraordinary range of prison programs--fine arts, theater, secondary education, and prisoner-run programs--allowed the voices of prisoners to influence the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyorican writers, "New Journalism," and political theater, among the most important aesthetic contributions of the decade. By the 1980s and '90s, prisoners' educational and artistic programs were scaled back or eliminated as the "war on crime" escalated. But by then these prisoners' words had crossed over the wall, helping many Americans to rethink the meaning of the walls themselves and, ultimately, the meaning of the society that produced them.
Description : Winner of the 2009 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award The Midwest of popular imagination is a "Heartland" characterized by traditional cultural values and mass market dispositions. Whether cast positively —; as authentic, pastoral, populist, hardworking, and all-American—or negatively—as backward, narrow–minded, unsophisticated, conservative, and out-of-touch—the myth of the Heartland endures. Heartland TV examines the centrality of this myth to television's promotion and development, programming and marketing appeals, and public debates over the medium's and its audience's cultural worth. Victoria E. Johnson investigates how the "square" image of the heartland has been ritually recuperated on prime time television, from The Lawrence Welk Show in the 1950s, to documentary specials in the 1960s, to The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s, to Ellen in the 1990s. She also examines news specials on the Oklahoma City bombing to reveal how that city has been inscribed as the epitome of a timeless, pastoral heartland, and concludes with an analysis of network branding practices and appeals to an imagined "red state" audience. Johnson argues that non-white, queer, and urban culture is consistently erased from depictions of the Midwest in order to reinforce its "reassuring" image as white and straight. Through analyses of policy, industry discourse, and case studies of specific shows, Heartland TV exposes the cultural function of the Midwest as a site of national transference and disavowal with regard to race, sexuality, and citizenship ideals.
Description : Traces the rise and influence of progressive media in modern America, profiles such figures as Jon Stewart and Michael Moore, and discusses how liberal media significantly reshaped or invented such forms as late-night television, documentaries, and the blogosphere.
Description : Paul McCartney and John Lennon described him as the Beatles' "favorite group," he won Grammy awards, wrote and recorded hit songs, and yet no figure in popular music is as much of a paradox, or as underrated, as Harry Nilsson. In this first ever full-length biography, Alyn Shipton traces Nilsson's life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter. With interviews from friends, family, and associates, and material drawn from an unfinished autobiography, Shipton probes beneath the enigma to discover the real Harry Nilsson. A major celebrity at a time when huge concerts and festivals were becoming the norm, Nilsson shunned live performance. His venue was the studio, his stage the dubbing booth, his greatest triumphs masterful examples of studio craft. He was a gifted composer of songs for a wide variety of performers, including the Ronettes, the Yardbirds, and the Monkees, yet Nilsson's own biggest hits were almost all written by other songwriters. He won two Grammy awards, in 1969 for "Everybody's Talkin'" (the theme song for Midnight Cowboy), and in 1972 for "Without You," had two top ten singles, numerous album successes, and wrote a number of songs--"Coconut" and "Jump into the Fire," to name just two--that still sound remarkably fresh and original today. He was once described by his producer Richard Perry as "the finest white male singer on the planet," but near the end of his life, Nilsson's career was marked by voice-damaging substance abuse and the infamous deaths of both Keith Moon and Mama Cass in his London flat. Drawing on exclusive access to Nilsson's papers, Alyn Shipton's biography offers readers an intimate portrait of a man who has seemed both famous and unknowable--until now.