Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 3, September

America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings
America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings David E. Nye. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.This book features an eclectic twenty-page bibliography of American history, literature, and the history of technology including both...
Boomtown Saloons: Archaeology and History in Virginia City
Boomtown Saloons: Archaeology and History in Virginia City Kelly J. Dixon. Reno/Las Vegas, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2005.This volume is one in a series on Nevada history, and as such is aimed at a history audience that may not be very familiar...
Bridges over and Bedrock Beneath: The Role of Ballads in Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad Novels
In an earlier life, McCrumb must have been a balladeer, singing of restless spirits, starcrossed lovers ...1The idea for this article came to me as I sat one day, sipping Irish breakfast tea brewed with my grandmother's teapot, battered tea-ball, and...
Briefcases for Hire: American Hardboiled to Legal Fiction
Take a shopworn, hardboiled dick, softened with bourbon, rumpled at the edges, a piece snug under his arm, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. Take an Armani-clad attorney-at-law, all suave urbanity and legalese elocution, a Gucci briefcase...
Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865
Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865 Elizabeth Hewitt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.Arguing that American authors of the antebellum period used epistolary writing to "theorize the kinds of social intercourse necessary to the...
Cultural Change and the Market Revolution in America, 1789-1860
Cultural Change and the Market Revolution in America, 1789-1860 Scott C. Martin, Editor. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.In Cultural Change and the Market Revolution in America, 1789-1860, Scott C. Martin brings together nine works of scholarship...
Days of Death, Days of Life: Ritual in the Popular Culture of Oaxaca
Days of Death, Days of Life: Ritual in the Popular Culture of Oaxaca Kristin Norget. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.Day of the Dead festivities in Oaxaca, Mexico, in late October and early November have drawn the attention of students of popular...
Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture
Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture Bart Beaty. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.Anyone speculating about the most influential psychiatrist of twentieth-century America must consider Dr. Fredric Wertham (1895-1981). To...
From the Editor
The Journal of American Culture lost an associate editor, a founding father, an intellectual inspiration, and a great friend with the death on May 22 of Marshall Fishwick. Marshall's contributions to the study of American and popular culture, and to...
"Gorilla Trails in Paradise": Carl Akeley, Mary Bradley, and the American Search for the Missing Link
In 1881, Ward's Natural Science Bulletin published the anonymously authored poem "The Missing Link." Referencing decades-long debates over the relationship of man to ape, and the spiritual, intellectual, and moral capacities of apes, chimpanzees, and...
Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement
Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement S. Craig Watkins. Boston: Beacon Press, 2005.With a nod to Cornel West's influential title, S. Craig Watkins's Hip Hop Matters offers much to consider in pondering the...
Hurt So Good: Fight Club, Masculine Violence, and the Crisis of Capitalism
And if . . . a little sensual pleasure falls to my share, I feel justified in accepting it as some slight compensation for the inordinate measure of suffering . . . that has been mine for so many past years.- Freud's Dr. Schreber in Three Case Studies[Fight...
"In My Day It Used to Be Called a Limp Wrist": Flip-Floppers, Nelly Boys, and Homophobic Rhetoric in the 2004 US Presidential Campaign
By the summer of 2004 Republicans had succeeded in branding Democratic challenger John Kerry a "flip-flopper." Less than a month before the election, that transformation seemed a fait accompli: as Rob Christensen noted in the Raleigh News & Observer,...
Inventing Popular Culture
Inventing Popular Culture John Storey. Maiden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.In the publication Inventing Popular Culture, the author's purpose is to demonstrate that the current term "Popular Culture" is the current derogatory term used by the elite in control...
Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe
Irresistible Empire: America's Advance Through Twentieth-Century Europe Victoria de Grazia. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2005.There can be no question that the twentieth century brought forth a more global economy. The colonialism of past centuries...
Leaving Rosebud, Leaving the Valley: Vestiges of Childhood in Two Classic Films from 1941
When the American Film Institute (API) unveiled its list of the one hundred best films of the first one hundred years of filmmaking, Orson Welles' landmark film Citizen Kane, released in 1941, snared the top honor. This was no surprise. Citizen Kane,...
Money in the Bank: The Katherine Kierland Herberger Collection
Money in the Bank: The Katherine Kierland Herberger Collection Corine Wegener and Karal Ann Marling, Editors. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.Those of us in the book reviewing business sometimes have the distinct privilege of learning...
Religion and Sexuality: Passionate Debates
Religion and Sexuality: Passionate Debates C. K. Robertson, Editor. New York: Peter Lang, 2006.The title of this book may suggest a cross-cultural treatment that encompasses Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, traditional religions, and perhaps...
Rethinking Americanization Abroad: Toward a Critical Alternative to Prevailing Paradigms
A number of international Americanists and other scholars studying America's impact and resonance overseas have revisited the issue of Americanization in the past few decades. Their interest tended to focus mostly on America's cultural influence abroad.1...
Sight Unseen: Whiteness and American Visual Culture
The 2006 John G. Cawelti Award Winner Sight Unseen: Whiteness and American Visual Culture Martin A. Berger. Berkley: California University Press, 2004.Is racism so embedded in Euro-American culture; so commonplace, so deeply rooted in our social and...
The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States since 1945
The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States since 1945 Eric Cheyfitz, Editor. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.This is a thick, comprehensive book about the writings of Indians, which boils with anger and resentment....
The Life and Times of Red Cloud: Or How Merchants, Mounties, and the Missouri Transformed the West
The Life and Times of Red Cloud: Or How Merchants, Mounties, and the Missouri Transformed the West Annalies Corbin. College Station: Texas A & M Press, 2006.Those who think only of the Mississippi as the river gateway to the development of the West...
Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination
Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination Lee Clarke. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.Planes crash, bridges collapse, and ships sink. Such unintended consequences of sophisticated forms of technology are the subject matter...
Writing Back to Modern Art: After Greenberg, Fried, and Clark
Writing Back to Modern Art: After Greenberg, Fried, and Clark Jonathan Harris. London: Routledge, 2005.For the past two decades, discussions of the role of aesthetic value or evaluation in art criticism have been increasingly displaced by the growth...