Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 3, September

American Fiction: Modernism-Postmodernism, Popular Culture, and Metafiction
American Fiction: Modernism-Postmodernism, Popular Culture, and Metafiction Jaroslav Kusnir. Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2007.Increasingly, European scholars are reading popular culture for its effect on so-called elite literature (and other arts) and...
Anxious and Ambivalent Representations: Nineteenth-Century Images of Chinese American Men
During the nineteenth century, American journalists, cartoonists, novelists, and playwrights represented Chinese American men as both docile pets and nefarious invaders; potential citizens and unassimilable aliens; effeminate, queue-wearing eunuchs and...
A Sermon Preached in Celebration of the Life of Dr. William Jones by the Rev. Canon Win Lewis May 17, 2007
It was "A Wonderful Life!"At the end of that Frank Capra movie by the same name, Jimmy Stewart, a.k.a. George Bailey, is surrounded on Christmas Eve by all the many friends whose lives he has touched and changed over the years. Jammed into the cluttered...
Editorializing "The Indian Problem": The New York Times on Native Americans, 1860-1900
Editorializing "the Indian Problem": The New York Times on Native Americans, 1860-1900 Robert Hays, Editor. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007.Editorializing "the Indian Problem": The New York Times on Native Americans, 1860-1900 was...
Etiquette: Reflections on Contemporary Comportment
Etiquette: Reflections on Contemporary Comportment Rokn Scalpp and Brian Seitz, Editors. Albany: State University of New York, 2007.At first thought the matter of etiquette seems far from American culture but, of course, on second thought it is at its...
From the Miners' Doublehouse: Archeology and Landscape in a Pennsylvania Coal Company Town
From the Miners' Doublehouse: Archeology and Landscape in a Pennsylvania Coal Company Town Karen Bescherer Metheny. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2007.This book is absolutely indispensable for the study of popular culture. It examines the...
Hip to the Trip: A Cultural History of Route 66
Hip to the Trip: A Cultural History of Route 66 Peter B. Dedek. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007.Despite its rather breezy title, this book likely will appeal more strongly to academicians than to the general reader. Its sober subtitle,...
Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema
Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema S. Torriano Berry and Venise T Berry. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007.Halle Berry and Denzel Washington, clutching their Oscars, peer from the glossy cover of the Historical Dictionary of African American...
If Kids Could Vote
If Kids Could Vote Sally Sugarman. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007.One of the most important functions of the American mass media is to teach the public about democracy. In If Kids Could Vote, Sally Sugarman reports what our youngest citizens have...
Judging Lincoln
Judging Lincoln Frank J. Williams. Foreword by Harold Holzer; Epilogue by John Y. Simon. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007.Why, some may ask, another book on Lincoln when there are already an estimated seventeen hundred books, journals,...
Lights, Camera, History: Portraying the Past in Film
Lights, Camera, History: Portraying the Past in Film Richard Francaviglia and Jerry Rodnitzky, Editors. College Station: Texas A & M Press, 2007.This inquiring book centers on a subject of great interest and importance that is perhaps too narrowly...
Lincoln the Lawyer
Lincoln the Lawyer Brian Dirck. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.Despite the torrent of studies of Lincoln all add something to his life, career, and Presidency. This one is especially useful in developing the growth of the man, the lawyer...
Mixing Memoir and Desire: James Frey, Wound Culture, and the "Essential American Soul"
I made other alterations in my portrayal of myself, most of which pictured me in ways that made me tougher and more daring and more aggressive than in reality I was, or I am. People cope with adversity in many different ways, ways that are deeply personal....
More Day to Dawn: Thoreau's "Walden" for the Twenty-First Century
More Day to Dawn: Thoreau's "Walden" for the Twenty-First Century Sandra Harbert Petrulionis and Laura Dassow Walls, Editors. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.More Day to Dawn: Thoreau's "Walden" for the Twenty-First Century originated...
Movie Censorship and American Culture
Movie Censorship and American Culture Francis G. Couvares, Editor. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006.The second edition of this edited book is virtually unchanged from the original published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in...
Muting White Noise: Native American and European American Novel Traditions
Muting White Noise: Native American and European American Novel Traditions James H. Cox. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006.Muting White Noise, by James H. Cox, is a scholarly, effectively written exploration of how Native Americans have revised...
Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940-1960
Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940-1960 Bill Anthes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006.Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940-1960 addresses an area of Native American art that deserves more attention than it has received. Bill...
NPR: The Trials and Triumphs of National Public Radio
NPR: The Trials and Triumphs of National Public Radio Michael P. McCauley. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.Before Jon Stewart's The Daily Show became the news source of choice for a certain segment of the US population, National Public Radio...
Oklahoma!-The Making of an American Musical
Oklahoma!-The Making of an American Musical Tim Carter. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.In Oklahoma!-The Making of an American Musical, Tim Carter has written the most comprehensive account ever of the origins, development, and production history...
Pop Art and the Contest over American Culture
Pop Art and the Contest over American Culture Sara Doris. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.It seems that most presses and many academic hours could not be covered if academics and freelance upholders of culture were not in constant argument...
Relics of the Christ
Relics of the Christ Joe Nickell. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007.In our day when more and more movies, TV shows, literary investigations and studies of such documents as the Dead Sea Scrolls and more recently discovered documents are being...
Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know-And Doesn't
Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know-And Doesn't Stephen Prothero. New York: Harper Collins/ Harper San Francisco, 2007.A spring 2007 seminar marking the seventyfifth anniversary of the Folger Institute in Washington, DC, celebrated...
Remembering Bill Jones
One typically does not associate editorial meetings with raucous laughter, but that is how I remember the weekly meetings that coeditor Bill Jones, editorial assistant Amy Dudley, and I had for about three years. With a sly smile and quick wit, Bill...
Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields
Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields Robert C. Byrd. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2005.Senator Robert C. Byrd has been an important part of his times. His service in Congress has extended from 1946 to today. This span of...
Scarlett's Sisters: Young Women in the Old South
Scarlett's Sisters: Young Women in the Old South Anya Jabour. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.Using evidence from various sources-diaries, letters, scrapbooks, and other personal writingsJabour discusses the "life of resistance"...
Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema
Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema David J. Leonard. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006.In five chapters author David J. Leonard covers the history of black cinema from the start to the 2005 Oscars and devotes chapters to...
Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture/The Cambridge Introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe/Uncle Tom's Cabin as Visual Culture
Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture Jeannine Marie DeLombard. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.The Cambridge Introduction to Harriet Beecher Stowe Sarah Robbins. New York: Cambridge, 2007.Uncle Tom's Cabin as Visual...
Snoop's Devil Dogg: African American Ghostlore and Bones
The 2001 motion picture Bones, starring gangsta rapper-turned-actor Snoop Dogg, is perhaps not the most "serious" horror movie ever made. Near the end, while on his bloody rampage to destroy the murderers who turned him into a revenant, lead character...
Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference
Social Dancing in America: A History and Reference Ralph G. Giordano. Westport: Greenwood, 2007. 2 vols.If "in our dancing, as in our ideology and diplomacy, we show who we are, and what America is in the twentieth century, as popular culturist Marshall...
Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design
Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design Henry Petroski. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.In his latest book, Henry Petroski, a professor of civil engineering at Duke, continues to examine the idiosyncratic forces that help mold engineering...
Texas Zydeco
Texas Zydeco Roger Wood. Photography by James Fraher. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. `Roger Wood and James Fraher spent seven happy years collecting oral histories and taking photographs of the people and places most important in developing...
The Age of Jackson: George Jackson and the Culture of American Prisons in the 1970s
Between his first national exposure as a "Soledad Brother" in early 1970 and his violent death in August 1971, George Jackson achieved an almost unprecedented level of celebrity for an incarcerated person. In that age of political extremes and radical...
The American Discovery of Europe
The American Discovery of Europe Jack D. Forbes. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2007.As researchers dig more deeply and widely into history, they discover more information the world that Christopher Columbus lived in and the voyage he took...
The Border between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line/Confederate Rage, Yankee Wrath: No Quarter in the Civil War
The Border between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line Jeremy Neely. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2007.Confederate Rage, Yankee Wrath: No Quarter in the Civil War George S. Burkhardt. Carbondale: Southern Illinois...
The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency
The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency John Sayle Watterson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.As one would expect, this book will have its greatest appeal, to the general reader who has an interest in presidents and sports,...
The God Delusion/Letter to a Christian Nation
The God Delusion Richard Dawkins. London: Bantam Press, 2006.Letter to a Christian Nation Sam Harris. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.Is America a Christian Nation, or merely one tolerant of religious diversity? As Bill Moyers documented on his PBS Journal...
The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia
The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia Michael A. McDonnell. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.The anomalies and ironies of civil wars and wars of independence are clearly revealed in this deep and...
The Trial in American Life
The Trial in American Life Robert A. Ferguson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.This is a book that reverberates down so many corridors of American (and world) life that it cannot be ignored. As the author, George Edward Woodberry Professor...
The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction
The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction Patrick Anderson. New York: Random House, 2007.The public has always had its literature in one form or another. The nineteenth century is famous in our memories for...
The View from Vermont: Tourism and the Making of an American Rural Landscape
The View from Vermont: Tourism and the Making of an American Rural Landscape Blake Harrison. Burlington: University of Vermont Press, 2006.Blake Harrison's The View from Vermont is a scholarly work that transcends the world of academe. Deeply researched...
This Vast Book of Nature: Writing the Landscape of New Hampshire's White Mountains 1784-1911
This Vast Book of Nature: Writing the Landscape of New Hampshire's White Mountains 1784-1911 Pavel Cenkl. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006.The White Mountains of New Hampshire have been home to a variety of forces over the years, including tourism,...
Touring History: Guidebooks and the Commodification of the Salem Witch Trials
The documentary Witch City, a scathing critique of tourism in Salem, Massachusetts, stirred tremendous discussion upon its premiere on Boston public television in 1997. Penned by Salem native Joe Cultrera, the film charts the city's transformation from...