Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 2, June

Against Academia: The History of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Movement, 1967-1988. 2nd Ed
This review was inadvertently left out of our last issue, which reassessed the important works of our journal's founder, Ray B. Browne. Against Academia: The History of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and the Popular Culture...
A Gambler's Instinct: The Story of Broadway Producer Cheryl Crawford
A Gambler's Instinct: The Story of Broadway Producer Cheryl Crawford Milly S. Barranger. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.Author of Unfriendly Witnesses: Gender, Theater, and Film in the McCarthy Era and Margaret Webster: A Life in...
Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in Contemporary American Literature and Culture
Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in Contemporary American Literature and Culture Peter Swirski. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010.Peter Swirski's Ars Americana, Ars Politica explores the intersections between politics and...
Blood Ties: The Vampire Lover in the Popular Romance
A perusal of the popular novel section in any bookstore will affirm that the paranormal, and specifically the vampire figure, is enjoying a resurgence of interest among readers. Not to be outdone, the film and television industry is currently benefiting...
Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture
Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture Kelli S. Burns. New York: Praeger, 2009.Kelli S. Burns' Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster our Fascination with Popular Culture chronicles the rise of social media and explores its...
Decoded
Decoded Jay-Z. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2010.The year 2010 was a great one for autobiography, particularly those by musicians. Keith Richards, guitar legend and founding member of the Rolling Stones, gave us Life, a classic tale of sex, drugs, and...
Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema
Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema Todd Berliner. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.Todd Berliner's book is certainly one of the best I have seen about 1970s cinema. Berliner noticed that the films of that decade just didn't make...
Jack London, Photographer
Jack London, Photographer Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Sara S. Hodson, and Philip Adam. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010.Less than a year after Jack London scored an international success with The Call of the Wild (1903), the Hearst Syndicate enlisted...
John la Farge's Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890-1891
John La Farge's Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890-1891 Elizabeth Hodermarsky with essays by Elizabeth Childs, Henry Adams, John Stuart Gordon and Anna ArabindanKesson. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, in Association with...
Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp through 1960s America
Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America Natasha Vargas-Cooper. New York: Collins Design, 2010.Mad Men Unbuttoned is a paperback adaptation of Natasha Vargas-Cooper's popular blog, "The Footnotes of Mad Men," which has since been renamed "Mad...
Movie Star Suicide, Hollywood Gossip, and Popular Psychology in the 1950s and 1960s
In two shocking developments in post-World War II Hollywood, actress-singer Judy Garland attempted suicide in 1950, and, in 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe died, apparently from suicide. Movie star suicide had occurred in earlier years - at least eight...
Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927-1940
Muralism Without Walls: Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927-1940 Anna Indych-Lopez. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.This very interesting and provocative book expands the author's doctoral dissertation and other...
Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga
Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga Maureen Callahan. New York: Hyperion, 2010.Pulitzer-nominated journalist Maureen Callahan delivers few surprises in Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga, her new biography of skyrocketing twenty-four-year-old...
Queer Justice: The Retrials of Leopold and Loeb
Recent scholarship has done much to illuminate the ways in which homosexuality is constructed in the homophobic imagination as dangerous and deadly. Indeed, anti-gay rhetoric positions homosexuality not as a sexual orientation or even a lifestyle, but...
Rescuing Masculinity: Captivity, Rescue and Gender in American War Narratives
A traditional way to persuade young American people they should go to war is to promise them war produces conditions in which they will behave heroically. This tack has been especially effective with young American men, who often learn to equate heroics...
Restless Americans: The Significance of Movement in American History (with a Nod to F. J. Turner)
The ThesisRegardless of the merits of Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis (Turner), it is clear that from the first days of the Republic, the phenomenon of movement characterized Americans, and influenced them as much as did the frontier. Directly...
Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts
Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and other Media Paratexts Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2010.JPC ?director @fancommunity: New promo materials for soon-to-be released [insert Film/TV series]: [include hyperlinks to] un/official...
The American Worker on Film: A Critical History, 1909-1999
The American Worker on Film: A Critical History, 1909-1999 Doyle Greene. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2010.In an era when many Americans seek to deny the existence of social class conflict by emphasizing a monolithic middle class society,...
The Arithmetic of Aspiration: Josephine Lawrence's If I Have Four Apples
In 1931, "middlebrow historian" James Truslow Adams wrote The Epic of America, a onevolume history of the United States that went on to become a best seller in 1932 after becoming a Book-of-the-Month Club selection (Decker 97). Adams's book is widely...
The Film Genre Book/Cultural Analysis
The Film Genre Book John Sanders. London: Auteur, 2009.Cultural Analysis Jim McGuigan. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010.While both books are very different in conception, and aimed at different readerships, they offer complementary analyses...
The Sopranos
The SopranosDana Polan. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.The Sopranos by Dana Polan is the latest contribution to the ever-growing body of scholarly research and popular reporting on this widely acclaimed HBO program that emerged as the network's...
Toying with God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls
Toying with God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls Nikki Bado-Fralick and Rebecca Sachs Norris. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.Toys and religion may at first seem unlikely partners, but this is not the case. In Toying with God: The World of...
Up in the Air: Technology and the Suburban Nightmare in John Dos Passos's Airways Inc
The home-making propaganda is the best training in national pride that the child or the adult can have. Homeless people make poor citizens. Nomads are seldom patriots. Give us a nation of homes, with each family loving and beautifying and developing...
Yellow Future: Oriental Style in Hollywood Cinema
Yellow Future: Oriental Style in Hollywood Cinema Jane Chi Hyun Park. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.Yellow Future: Oriental Style proposes that "oriental style" - both images and racialized performances function to link East Asian...