Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 2, June

Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training
Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson's First Spring Training Chris Lamb. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.With the publication more than two decades ago of Jules Tygiel's seminal work Baseball's Great Experiment, a whole new area...
Encyclopedia of the Great Plains
Encyclopedia of the Great Plains David J. Wishart, Editor. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.Any encyclopedia worth its weight must serve two functions: it must be comprehensive, and it should be fun to read. This distinguished volume is both....
"From the Bottom to the Top": Frank Sinatra, the American Myth of Success, and the Italian-American Image
When one thinks of Frank Sinatra, numerous images come to mind. Some will think of the young crooner, heartthrob to countless bobbysoxers; some will think of the cocky leader of the so-called Rat Pack. There is the bellicose casino owner daring the authorities...
Gilbert Munger: Quest for Distinction
Gilbert Munger: Quest for Distinction Michael D. Schroeder and J. Gray Sweeney. Afton, MN: Afton Historical Society Press, 2003.Much of the writing about the history of American art of the last fifty years has been devoted to the rediscovery of American...
Harry Hooper: An American Baseball Life
Harry Hooper: An American Baseball Life Paul J. Zingg. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.Some baseball players, from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, reach the status of popular culture icon, while others, however talented, are known only to fans and...
"He's Making Me Feel Things in My Body That I Don't Feel": The Body as Battleground in Accounts of Alien Abduction
In September 1961, Betty and Barney Hill, a Ne1W Hampshire couple under heavy pressure for their interracial marriage, decided to visit Montreal, Canada, for a short holiday. On their return, they found themselves suffering from unexplained physical...
Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past
Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past Michael P. Quinlin. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2004.This book is more than a visitor's guide to historic sites, museums, genealogy, and Irish studies in Massachusetts. It is all of that...
Legendary Lionel Trains
Legendary Lionel Trains John A. Grams and Terry D. Thompson. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing, 2004.In the preface to Legendary Lionel Trains, Terry D. Thompson dubs Lionel products as "icons of childhood and American culture" (4). Who could doubt him?...
Manufacturing the Muse: Estey Organs & Consumer Culture in Victorian America
Manufacturing the Muse: Estey Organs & Consumer Culture in Victorian America Dennis G. Waring. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2002.This is a multifaceted work, as its title indicates. For the American culture scholar and social historian,...
Masterworks of Technology: The Story of Creative Engineering, Architecture, and Design
Masterworks of Technology: The Story of Creative Engineering, Architecture, and Design E. E. Lewis. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004.Building from Henry Petroski's explanation of how failure has improved the design of bridges and skyscrapers, E. E....
Matters of Culture: Cultural Sociology in Practice
Matters of Culture: Cultural Sociology in Practice Roger Friedland and John Mohr, Editors. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.The introduction focuses on the complexities of the concept of culture and makes the case for the importance of cultural...
Miranda: The Story of America's Right to Remain Silent
Miranda: The Story of America's Right to Remain Silent Gary L. Stuart. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.Miranda v. Arizona (1966) became one of the best-known cases in the history of American criminal justice. Ernesto Miranda had confessed to...
Murder on the Reservation: American Indian Crime Fiction
Murder on the Reservation: American Indian Crime Fiction Ray B. Browne. Madison, WI: Popular Press, 2004.Let us now praise famous men. But first, before the author, let us examine the book, the first book-length study of crime fiction by and about Native...
"Nature's Nation" Revisited: American Concepts of Nature from Wonder to Ecological Crisis/Straddling Borders: The American Resonance in Transnational Identities/Dreams of Paradise, Visions of Apocalypse: Utopia and Dystopia in American Culture/Religion in America: European and American Perspectives/Public Space, Private Lives: Race, Gender, Class and Citizenship in New York, 1890-1929/post-Cold War Europe and Post-Cold War America
"Nature's Nation" Revisited: American Concepts of Nature from Wonder to Ecological Crisis Hans Bak and Walter H. Hölbling, Editors. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2003.Straddling Borders: The American Resonance in Transnational Identities Rob Kroes,...
Polygamy and Mormon Identity
In the nineteenth century, as the Mormons withdrew from American society to establish their own sectarian community, polygamy became a defining characteristic - even the primary symbol of Mormon identity-for both the Latterday Saints (LDS) and their...
Poor Christopher Colles: An Innovator's Obstacles in Early America
It is July 1775, and Christopher Colles is busy in New York organizing a grand project, a reservoir for the city. Land has been acquired, timber has been ordered for pipes, a well is being dug, and a steam engine has been designed and built to raise...
Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture
Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture Alison Landsberg. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.Professor Landsberg's concept of prosthetic memory provides an innovative way of examining modern forms...
Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947
Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 Kathy M. Newman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.This book has already been reviewed in other journals and praised by advanced reviewers. The reviews have generally been quite...
Science Fiction Television
Science Fiction Television M. Keith Booker. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.In a sense, television is a very appropriate medium for science fiction. While TV technology pervades and impacts human life, it is only fair for this medium to make room for a genre...
Suburban Century: Social Change and Urban Growth in England and the USA
Suburban Century: Social Change and Urban Growth in England and the USA Mark Clapson. Oxford: Berg, 2003.Over the years, suburbs have got bad press soulless blobs with bad architecture that destroys communities. Clapson sets out to amend these concepts,...
The Ethnic Garden in Portuguese-American Writing
Writing about the garden in American literature has a long tradition, but this does not apply to emergent contemporary American literatures, especially the Portuguese-American one. In my exploration of this issue, I will briefly outline the scholarly...
The Gilded Age (1875-1900)/the 1920s/the 1940s/the 1950s
The Gilded Age (1875-1900) Joel Shrock. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004.The 1920s Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004.The 1940s Robert Sickels. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004.The 1950s William H. Young with Nancy K. Young....
Twentieth-Century America: Politics and Power in the United States, 1900-2000
Twentieth-Century America: Politics and Power in the United States, 1900-2000 M. J. Heale. London: Arnold-Hodder Headline Group, 2004.This -well-organized survey of American political history in the past century, drawing upon and accessing a breadth...
Wrestling and Hypermasculinity
Wrestling and Hypermasculinity Patrice A. Opphger. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland, 2004.Many Americans - especially the boys among us -know wrestling from school days as a sport of speed, agility, and strength among comparably sized rivals. Such...