The 2010s might be remembered as a time of increased polarization in American life. The decade contained both the Obama era and the Trump era, and as the nation’s political fissures widened, so did the gap between the haves and have-nots. Hollywood reflected these divisions, choosing to concentrate on big franchise blockbusters at the expense of mid-budget films, while new players like Netflix and Amazon offered fresh opportunities for low-budget and independent filmmakers. As the movie business changed, films ranging from American Sniper to Get Out found ways to speak to the concerns of a divided nation.
The newest installment in the Screen Decades series, American Cinema in the 2010s takes a close look at the memorable movies, visionary filmmakers, and behind-the-scenes drama that made this decade such an exciting time to be a moviegoer. Each chapter offers an in-depth examination of a specific year, covering a wide variety of films, from blockbuster superhero movies like Black Panther and animated films like Frozen to smaller-budget biopics like I, Tonya and horror films like Hereditary. This volume introduces readers to a decade in which established auteurs like Quentin Tarantino were joined by an exceptionally diverse set of new talents, taking American cinema in new directions.
The Beatles, the most popular, influential, and important band of all time, have been the subject of countless books of biography, photography, analysis, history, and conjecture. But this long and winding road has produced nothing like Baby You’re a Rich Man, the first book devoted to the cascade of legal actions engulfing the band, from the earliest days of the loveable mop-heads to their present prickly twilight of cultural sainthood. Part Beatles history, part legal thriller, Baby You’re a Rich Man begins in the era when manager Brian Epstein opened the Pandora’s box of rock ’n’ roll merchandising, making a hash of the band’s licensing and inviting multiple lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The band’s long breakup period, from 1969 to 1971, provides a backdrop to the Machiavellian grasping of new manager Allen Klein, who unleashed a blizzard of suits and legal motions to take control of the band, their music, and Apple Records. Unsavory mob associate Morris Levy first sued John Lennon for copyright infringement over “Come Together,” then sued him again for not making a record for him. Phil Spector, hired to record a Lennon solo album, walked off with the master tapes and held them for a king’s ransom. And from 1972 to 1975, Lennon was the target of a deportation campaign personally spearheaded by key aides of President Nixon (caught on tape with a drug-addled Elvis Presley) that wound endlessly through the courts. In Baby You’re a Rich Man, Stan Soocher ties the Beatles’ ongoing legal troubles to some of their most enduring songs. What emerges is a stirring portrait of immense creative talent thriving under the pressures of ill will, harassment, and greed. Praise for They Fought the Law: Rock Music Goes to Court “Stan Soocher not only ably translates the legalese but makes both the plaintiffs and defendants engrossingly human. Mandatory reading for every artist who tends to skip his contract’s fine print.”—Entertainment Weekly
Broadcasting Hollywood: The Struggle Over Feature Films on Early Television uses extensive archival research into the files of studios, networks, advertising agencies, unions and guilds, theatre associations, the FCC, and key legal cases to analyze the tensions and synergies between the film and television industries in the early years of television. This analysis of the case study of the struggle over Hollywood’s feature films appearing on television in the 1940s and 1950s illustrates that the notion of an industry misunderstands the complex array of stakeholders who work in and profit from a media sector, and models a variegated examination of the history of media industries. Ultimately, it draws a parallel to the contemporary period and the introduction of digital media to highlight the fact that history repeats itself and can therefore play a key role in helping media industry scholars and practitioners to understand and navigate contemporary industrial phenomena.
Pursuing the dream of a musical vocation—particularly in rock music—is typically regarded as an adolescent pipedream. Music is marked as an appropriate leisure activity, but one that should be discarded upon entering adulthood. How then do many men and women aspire to forge careers in music upon entering adulthood?
In Destined for Greatness, sociologist Michael Ramirez examines the lives of forty-eight independent rock musicians who seek out such non-normative choices in a college town renowned for its music scene. He explores the rich life course trajectories of women and men to explore the extent to which pathways are structured to allow some, but not all, individuals to fashion careers in music worlds. Ramirez suggests a more nuanced understanding of factors that enable the pursuit of musical livelihoods well into adulthood.
The National Basketball Association reaches a global audience via a multiplatform strategy that leverages its uncanny ability to connect fans to all things NBA. Steven Secular brings readers inside the league’s global operations and traces the history of the NBA’s approach to sports media from its 1980s embrace of cable through the streaming revolution of the twenty-first century. As fans around the world stream games and other league content, NBA teams incorporate foreign languages and cultures into broadcasts to boost their product’s appeal to audiences in Brazil, China, and beyond. Secular’s analysis reveals how the NBA continues to transform itself into a wildly successful media producer and distributor more akin to a streaming studio than the sports leagues of old even as its media partners and sponsors erase any notion of sports as a civic good.
A timely look at a dynamic media landscape, The Digital NBA shows how the games we love became content first and sport a distant second.
Creative work has been celebrated as the highest form of achievement since at least Aristotle. But our understanding of the dynamics and market for creative work--artistic work in particular--often relies on unexamined clichés about individual genius, industrial engineering of talent, and the fickleness of fashion. Pierre-Michel Menger approaches the subject with new rigor, drawing on sociology, economics, and philosophy to build on the central insight that, unlike the work most of us do most of the time, creative work is governed by uncertainty. Without uncertainty, neither self-realization nor creative innovation is possible. And without techniques for managing uncertainty, neither careers nor profitable ventures would surface.
In the absence of clear paths to success, an oversupply of artists and artworks generates boundless differentiation and competition. How can artists, customers, entrepreneurs, and critics judge merit? Menger disputes the notion that artistic success depends solely on good connections or influential managers and patrons. Talent matters. But the disparity between superstardom and obscurity may hinge initially on minor gaps in intrinsic ability. The benefits of early promise in competition and the tendency of elite professionals to team up with one another amplify and disproportionately reward even small differences.
Menger applies his temporal and causal analysis of behavior under uncertainty to the careers and oeuvres of Beethoven and Rodin. The result is a thought-provoking book that brings clarity to our understanding of a world widely seen as either irrational or so free of standards that only power and manipulation count.
Empires of Entertainment integrates legal, regulatory, industrial, and political histories to chronicle the dramatic transformation within the media between 1980 and 1996. As film, broadcast, and cable grew from fundamentally separate industries to interconnected, synergistic components of global media conglomerates, the concepts of vertical and horizontal integration were redesigned. The parameters and boundaries of market concentration, consolidation, and government scrutiny began to shift as America's politics changed under the Reagan administration. Through the use of case studies that highlight key moments in this transformation, Jennifer Holt explores the politics of deregulation, the reinterpretation of antitrust law, and lasting modifications in the media landscape.
Holt skillfully expands the conventional models and boundaries of media history. A fundamental part of her argument is that these media industries have been intertwined for decades and, as such, cannot be considered separately. Instead, film, cable and broadcast must be understood in relation to one another, as critical components of a common history. Empires of Entertainment is a unique account of deregulation and its impact on political economy, industrial strategies, and media culture at the end of the twentieth century.
Winner of the 2018 Current Events/Social Change Book Award from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner of the 2018 Bronze Current Events Book Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards
Generations ago, gambling in America was an illicit activity, dominated by gangsters like Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel. Today, forty-eight out of fifty states permit some form of legal gambling, and America’s governors sit at the head of the gaming table. But have states become addicted to the revenue gambling can bring? And does the potential of increased revenue lead them to place risky bets on new casinos, lotteries, and online games?
In Gangsters to Governors, journalist David Clary investigates the pros and cons of the shift toward state-run gambling. Unearthing the sordid history of America’s gaming underground, he demonstrates the problems with prohibiting gambling while revealing how today’s governors, all competing for a piece of the action, promise their citizens payouts that are rarely delivered.
Clary introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters, from John “Old Smoke” Morrissey, the Irish-born gangster who built Saratoga into a gambling haven in the nineteenth century, to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who has furiously lobbied against online betting. By exploring the controversial histories of legal and illegal gambling in America, he offers a fresh perspective on current controversies, including bans on sports and online betting. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Gangsters to Governors considers the past, present, and future of our gambling nation.
"Michele Hilmes has produced
an excellent introduction to a most important subject. This is an invaluable
work for both scholars and students that places film, radio, and television
within the context of the national culture experience."
--- American Historical Review
"Hilmes is one of the few historians
of broadcasting to move beyond a political economy of the media. . . . Her work
should serve as a model for future histories of broadcasting."
--- Journal of Communication
"All media historians will
find this work a critical addition to their bookshelves."
--- American Journalism
"A major addition to media
--- Journalism History
Hollywood Diplomacy contends that, rather than simply reflect the West’s cultural fantasies of an imagined “Orient,” images of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ethnicities have long been contested sites where the commercial interests of Hollywood studios and the political mandates of U.S. foreign policy collide, compete against one another, and often become compromised in the process. While tracing both Hollywood’s internal foreign relations protocols—from the “Open Door” policy of the silent era to the “National Feelings” provision of the Production Code—and external regulatory interventions by the Chinese government, the U.S. State Department, the Office of War Information, and the Department of Defense, Hye Seung Chung reevaluates such American classics as Shanghai Express and The Great Dictator and applies historical insights to the controversies surrounding contemporary productions including Die Another Day and The Interview. This richly detailed book redefines the concept of “creative freedom” in the context of commerce: shifting focus away from the artistic entitlement to offend foreign audiences toward the opportunity to build new, better relationships with partners around the world through diplomatic representations of race, ethnicity, and nationality.
Indie Cinema Online
Sarah E.S. Sinwell Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1995.9.D57S56 2020 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
Indie Cinema Online investigates the changing nature of contemporary American independent cinema in an era of media convergence. Focusing on the ways in which modes of production, distribution, and exhibition are shifting with the advent of online streaming, simultaneous release strategies, and web series, this book analyzes sites such as SundanceTV, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other online spaces as a means of redefining independent cinema in a digital era. Analyzing the intersections among cinema studies, cultural studies, and new media studies within contemporary convergence culture, author Sarah E.S. Sinwell looks at sites of media convergence that are often ignored within most studies of digital media. Emphasizing the ways in which the forms and technologies of media culture have changed during the age of convergence, this book analyzes contemporary production, distribution, and exhibition practices as a means of examining the changing meanings of independent cinema within digital culture.
Like their Hollywood counterparts, Latin American film and TV melodramas have always been popular and highly profitable. The first of its kind, this anthology engages in a serious study of the aesthetics and cultural implications of Latin American melodramas. Written by some of the major figures in Latin American film scholarship, the studies range across seventy years of movies and television within a transnational context, focusing specifically on the period known as the "Golden Age" of melodrama, the impact of classic melodrama on later forms, and more contemporary forms of melodrama. An introductory essay examines current critical and theoretical debates on melodrama and places the essays within the context of Latin American film and media scholarship.
Contributors are Luisela Alvaray, Mariana Baltar, Catherine L. Benamou, Marvin D’Lugo, Paula Félix-Didier, Andrés Levinson, Gilberto Perez, Darlene J. Sadlier, Cid Vasconcelos, and Ismail Xavier.
"[T]his handsomely-produced volume performs admirably as a series of introductions to sources, approaches, and the state of scholarship on major topics in Roman social history . . . Collections of essays come and go, but this one will stay in wide use. Each essay can stand alone but, tied together by the theme of dominance, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
---Donald Kyle, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This collection of essays is intended to serve as a coursebook for introductory lecture series on Roman civilization; the essays are concentrated on fundamental aspects of Roman society, and no prior knowledge of antiquity on the reader's part is assumed. . . . The book as a whole is entirely successful in its projected aim: an immense range of detailed information about antiquity is presented in readable and largely sophisticated discussion. . . . Increasingly we need to be able to suggest to our students reading that is introductory but also in-depth and challenging, and this book is one possible reading that we can offer."
---Ellen O'Gorman, Classical Review
Life, Death, and Entertainment gives those with a general interest in Roman antiquity a starting point, informed by the latest developments in scholarship, for understanding the extraordinary range of Roman society. Family structure, slavery, gender identity, food supply, religion, and entertainment---all crucial parts of the Roman world---are discussed here, in a single volume that offers an approachable guide for readers of all backgrounds. The collection unites a series of general introductions on each of these topics, bringing readers in touch with a broad range of evidence, as well as with a wide variety of approaches to basic questions about the Roman world.
The newly expanded edition includes historian Keith Hopkins' pathbreaking article on Roman slaves. Volume editor David Potter has contributed two new translations of documents from emperors Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. Hadrian's letters document a reorganization of the festival cycle in the Empire and reassert the importance of the Olympic Games; the letter to Marcus provides the most important surviving evidence for how gladiatorial games were actually organized.
Contributors to the volume include Greg S. Aldrete, Hazel Dodge, Bruce W. Frier, Maud W. Gleason, Ann E. Hanson, Keith Hopkins, David J. Mattingly, and David S. Potter.
D.S. Potter is Professor of Classics and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan.
D.J. Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Leicester, and a Fellow of the British Academy.
Cover illustrations: top left, Karanis Excavation, courtesy Kelsey Museum; bottom right, Monte Testacchio, courtesy David J. Mattingly; center, Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, courtesy Phoenix Art Museum, Museum Purchase.
Life, Death, and Entertainment gives those who have a general interest in Roman antiquity a starting point informed by the latest developments in scholarship for understanding the extraordinary range of Roman society. Family structure, gender identity, food supply, religion, and entertainment are all crucial to an understanding of the Roman world. As views of Roman history have broadened in recent decades to encompass a wider range of topics, the need has grown for a single volume that can offer a starting point for these diverse subjects, for readers of all backgrounds.
This collection fills such a need by uniting a series of general introductions on each of these topics for the non-specialist. Each essay brings readers into contact with broadly ranging evidence, as well as with a wide variety of approaches that are needed to study basic questions about the Roman world.
Essays explore the Roman family, gender definition, demography, Roman food supply, Roman religion, and the wide variety of public entertainments throughout the empire. The volume brings together an unparalleled range of methodologies and topics. It will enable the modern reader to understand the Roman world in all its complexity. The general reader will welcome this approachable and timely text.
Contributors to the volume include Greg Aldrete, Hazel Dodge, Bruce W. Frier, Maud Gleason, Ann Hanson, David Mattingly, and David Potter.
D. S. Potter is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin, University of Michigan.
D. J. Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Leicester.
Filmmaking is a business—someone has to pay the bills. For much of the industry’s history, that role was shouldered by the studios. The rise of independent filmmakers then led to the rise of independent financiers. But what happens if bad weather closes down a production or a director’s vision pays no heed to the limitations of time and money?
Enter Film Finances. The company was founded in London in 1950 to insure against the risk that a film would exceed its original budget or not be completed on time. Its pioneering development of the “completion guarantee”—the financial instrument that provides the essential security for investors to support independent filmmaking—ultimately led to the creation of many thousands of films, including some of the most celebrated ever made: Moulin Rouge (1953), Dr. No (1962), The Outsiders (1982), Pulp Fiction (1994), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), La La Land (2016), and more.
Film Finances’s role in filmmaking was little known outside the industry until 2012, when it opened its historical archive to scholars. Drawing on these previously private documents as well as interviews with its executives, Making Hollywood Happen tells the company’s story through seven decades of postwar cinema history and chronicles the growth of the international independent film industry. Focusing on a business that has operated at the meeting point between money and art for more than seventy years, this lavishly illustrated book goes to the heart of how the movie business works.
The Other End of the Needle demonstrates that tattooing is more complex than simply the tattoos that people wear. Using qualitative data and an accessible writing style, sociologist Dave Lane explains the complexity of tattoo work as a type of social activity. His central argument is that tattooing is a social world, where people must be socialized, manage a system of stratification, create spaces conducive for labor, develop sets of beliefs and values, struggle to retain control over their tools, and contend with changes that in turn affect their labor. Earlier research has examined tattoos and their meanings.
Yet, Lane notes, prior research has focused almost exclusively on the tattoos—the outcome of an intricate social process—and have ignored the significance of tattoo workers themselves. "Tattooists," as Lane dubs them, make decisions, but they work within a social world that constrains and shapes the outcome of their labor—the tattoo. The goal of this book is to help readers understand the world of tattoo work as an intricate and nuanced form of work. Lane ultimately asks new questions about the social processes occurring prior to the tattoo’s existence.
In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments.
Table of Contents:
1. All Too Extravagant, Too Gratuitously Wild Hong Kong and/as/or Hollywood 2. Local Heroes Two Dragons: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan 3. The Chinese Connections 4. Once upon a Time in the West Enough to Make Strong Men Weep: John Woo 5. Made in Hong Kong A Chinese Feast: Tsui Hark 6. Formula, Form, and Norm Whatever You Want: Wong Jing 7. Plots, Slack and Stretched 8. Motion Emotion: The Art of the Action Movie Three Martial Masters: Zhang Che, Lau Kar-Leung, King Hu 9. Avant-Pop Cinema Romance On Your Menu: Chungking Express
Further Reading Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: One of our most inventive film scholars, Bordwell takes on one of the most over-the-top cinemas. For 20 years, the Hong Kong film industry was one of the world's most commercially successful and prolific. Recently Western critics have begun to recognize it as possessing a level of creativity almost equal to its financial success--despite its deep roots in genre traditions aimed at a mass audience, Bordwell examines how these elements interact in Hong Kong films to produce an art that is at the same time both popular and significant. He outlines the history, economics, and production techniques of the Hong Kong studios, particularly focussing on the genres that are most closely associated with their success (the kung-fu film, the swordplay epic, the gangster film, and the urban comedy)...By rooting his analyses in detailed readings of the film texts, he is able to convey--as much as mere words can--how this audaciously visceral cinema works...Bordwell is not well known outside academic film circles, but he should be; perhaps this volume will give him the exposure he deserves.
"Bordwell's volume is the most comprehensive Western work on its topic to date. Bordwell first considers how the Hong Kong industry has functioned in its local context, then examines how it captured the East Asian market and achieved cult status in the West...[Bordwell] demonstrates that academic film scholarship can itself be fun, spirited, and of interest to a broad audience."
--Neal Baker, Library Journal
"The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art."
--Roger Ebert, Pulitzer-prize winning film critic, Chicago Sun-Times
"Planet Hong Kong offers an exuberant appreciation of the life and times of Hong Kong's highly commercial--and rapidly-cut--cinema."
--Alissa Quart, Lingua Franca
"David Bordwell unpacks the shameless delights of Hong Kong cinema with one eye on the vitality of pop culture and the other on surprises and discoveries which redraw the map of film form and grammar. Here, the road of excess really does lead to the palace of wisdom."
--Tony Rayns, film critic, Sight and Sound
"In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments."
--James Schamus, producer and writer, The Ice Storm, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Ride with the Devil and the forthcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
"This is the first serious attempt by a distinguished American film academic in dissecting the popular aesthetics and entertainment precepts of the Hong Kong film industry. Planet Hong Kong will certainly be an important work in the growing literature on Hong Kong cinema."
--Stephen Teo, author of Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions
"Through rigorous and colorful analysis, Bordwell situates Hong Kong within the mainstream of world film history and, more specifically, as a parallel to a tradition most readers will already be familiar with: Hollywood. Planet Hong Kong will be extremely precious for film students and film scholars alike."
Reviews of this book: The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art. --Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize-winning flint critic, Chicago Sun-Times
Reviews of this book: A must-read for film students as well as Hong Kong movie fans. And for Hong Kong's moviegoers quick to dismiss mass-market productions as too commercial, uninspired or just plain lowbrow, Planet Hong Kong offers inspiration for a rethink on Hong Kong's homegrown film industry. --Tim Youngs, dotlove.com
Reviews of this book: When new acolytes of Hong Kong cinema sit down to describe it, normally dry writers get juiced on the energy of the films...They want to convey in words the jolt of discovery, the ecstasy of cultdom...Even a relatively staid critic such as structuralist guru David Bordwell seems to be typing in his shorts, with a beer on his desk, in Planet Hong Kong...Combining the study of film form and movie economics, analysis and field work, [he] cogently evokes what separates Hong Kong's buccaneer directors from Hollywood's current storytellers. --Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
Reviews of this book: Rather than simply labeling Hong Kong action movies 'over-the-top,' [Bordwell] offers a close reading of the way they tend to use 'technical tricks'...calling attention to the use of the zoom lens and sound editing as rhythmic devices, rather than simple means of imparting information or telling a story...For all his emphasis on visual style, Bordwell also does justice to the important role of Hong Kong's stars. --Steve Erickson, Senses of Cinema
Reviews of this book: David Bordwell is a scholar who writes as a fan. He is in love with the crazy rip-roaring, vulgar confusion that is Hong Kong cinema, but he also knows how and why it works and explains it in words the layman can understand. --The Economist
Reviews of this book: [This book] is among the best of the recent batch of books on Hong Kong cinema. Much of this ground has been covered before, but Bordwell applies his formalist approach to a broad range of films while never losing sight of the crazy energy that makes them so likeable in the first place. --Film Comment
Reviews of this book: The most sober and thorough book yet on the topic. --Paul F. Duke, Variety
Reviews of this book: A valuable book...vividly written and set out in short, punchy chapters with handsome and well-used film stills...Never inclined to interpret films through a social, political or psychological lens, Bordwell prefers to get at the industry, the systems, craft and style that sustain Hong Kong filmmakers. In a sense, he is after the everydayness of an amazingly vital and driven film colony...What fuels Planet Hong Kong and makes it special is Bordwell's critical belief that any self-sustaining commercial cinema is a particular art in itself, and one astonishingly rare in the history of the medium. A film book this good is likewise almost as rare. --Bart Testa, Globe & Mail
Reviews of this book: Bordwell has written the first informed analysis of one of the greatest success stories in cinema history: Hong Kong, dominant force in Asian film making and an enormous influence on movies around the world...Bordwell loves Hong Kong movies and writes about them with enthusiasm and flair...[He] never loses sight of the fact that Hong Kong's movies, like Hollywood's, are an immensely successful transcultural, popular-culture art form--almost a contradiction in terms--epitomizing the mystery of the movies. --R. D. Sears, Choice
Reviews of this book: Beijing Opera meets hyper-Eisenstein in this sublime orchestration of rapid (constructive) editing, percussive rhythms and patterns of stasis and dynamic movement. This more than anything is Bordwell's great contribution to the study of Hong Kong cinema, and the reason why this is essential reading. --Poshek Fu and David Desser, Scope
Reviews of this book: Planet Hong Kong is...like a conversation with a good friend. Bordwell's voice is personable and intelligent, and he makes history and film more palatable than The Cinema of Hong Kong does for the novice. Bordwell focuses on the art of entertainment...In doing so, the effects are understood beyond language and cultural barriers. --Okden Johnny, Pacific Reader
Since the advent of the American toy industry, children’s cultural products have attempted to teach and sell ideas of American identity. By examining cultural products geared towards teaching children American history, Playing With History highlights the changes and constancies in depictions of the American story and ideals of citizenship over the last one hundred years. This book examines political and ideological messages sold to children throughout the twentieth century, tracing the messages conveyed by racist toy banks, early governmental interventions meant to protect the toy industry, influences and pressures surrounding Cold War stories of the western frontier, the fractures visible in the American story at a mid-century history themed amusement park. The study culminates in a look at the successes and limitations of the American Girl Company empire.
This witty sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice follows the fate of Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy's younger sister, who must choose between two suitors, a well-placed navy captain and a brash young architect. Masterfully adapted to Austen's original nineteenth-century style, Presumption brings back to life the book's most memorable characters, the Bennets, Darcys, Collins, and de Bourghs.
"An elegant emulation and continuation of Pride and Prejudice. . . . Jointly composed by two admirers of Jane Austen, the book often achieves crisp replication of her style. . . . Presumption shows how sequel-writing can, like parody, be a sharp exercise in literary appreciation."—Peter Kemp, Times Literary Supplement
Julia Barrett is a pseudonym for Julia Braun Kessler and Gabrielle Donnelly.
In the early 1980s, Walt Disney Productions was struggling, largely bolstered by the success of its theme parks. Within fifteen years, however, it had become one of the most powerful entertainment conglomerates in the world. Staging a Comeback: Broadway, Hollywood, and the Disney Renaissance argues that far from an executive feat, this impressive turnaround was accomplished in no small part by the storytellers recruited during this period. Drawing from archival research, interviews, and textual analysis, Peter C. Kunze examines how the hiring of theatrically trained talent into managerial and production positions reorganized the lagging animation division and revitalized its output. By Aladdin, it was clear that animation—not live-action—was the center of a veritable “Renaissance” at Disney and the animated musicals driving this revival laid the groundwork for the company’s growth into Broadway theatrical production. The Disney Renaissance not only reinvigorated the Walt Disney Company, but both reflects and influenced changes in Broadway and Hollywood more broadly.
In this first English-language history of the origins and impact of the Japanese pop music industry, Hiromu Nagahara connects the rise of mass entertainment, epitomized by ryūkōka (“popular songs”), with Japan’s transformation into a middle-class society in the years after World War II.
With the arrival of major international recording companies like Columbia and Victor in the 1920s, Japan’s pop music scene soon grew into a full-fledged culture industry that reached out to an avid consumer base through radio, cinema, and other media. The stream of songs that poured forth over the next four decades represented something new in the nation’s cultural landscape. Emerging during some of the most volatile decades in Japan’s history, popular songs struck a deep chord in Japanese society, gaining a devoted following but also galvanizing a vociferous band of opponents. A range of critics—intellectuals, journalists, government officials, self-appointed arbiters of taste—engaged in contentious debates on the merits of pop music. Many regarded it as a scandal, evidence of an increasingly debased and Americanized culture. For others, popular songs represented liberation from the oppressive political climate of the war years.
Tokyo Boogie-Woogie is a tale of competing cultural dynamics coming to a head just as Japan’s traditionally hierarchical society was shifting toward middle-class democracy. The pop soundscape of these years became the audible symbol of changing times.