Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 19, No. 2, Summer

A Dark Night's Dreaming: Contemporary American Horror Fiction
A Dark Night's Dreaming: Contemporary American Horror Fiction. Tony Magistrale and Michael A. Morrison, eds. Columbia: South Carolina University Press, 1995. 138 pp. I read a Dark Night's Dreaming with pleasure, like a kid tearing into a Stephen King...
American "Grand Guignol": Splatterpunk Gore, Sadean Morality and Socially Redemptive Violence
Each one of us has in his innermost being a secret longing for violent emotions.... Fear has always existed, and each century has stamped upon its literature the mark of the fears that torment it.... Andre de Lorde Fear in Literature (1922) La cruaute...
American Popular Culture/La Culture Populaire Americaine
American Popular Culture/La Culture Populaire Americaine. John Dean. Nancy: Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1992. 276 pp. Illustrations, Notes, Biography. ISBN 2-86480-432-8. Softbound 140 FF. There is no doubt that American popular culture has had...
American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1914-1930
American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1914-1930. Gerald Bordman. NY: Oxford University Press, 1995. In the preface to this volume, the second in a series on the American non-musical theatre, Bordman tells us he deals only with plays produced...
Breeders for Satan: Toward a Sociology of Sexual Trauma Tales
What we are going to talk about today will sound unbelievable, unbelievable, to most of you. It will sound like the plot of an incredible horror story. ("Satanism" 1) During her years of imprisonment in a downtown Los Angeles breeder warehouse, Lauren...
Checking in the Mirror: Liberty Weekend's Patriotic Spectacle
Liberty Weekend, as you may or may not remember, was the patriotic extravaganza that celebrated the July Fourth, 1986 centennial of the Statue of Liberty. Conceived and presented in the thick of the long Republican reign, this celebration can provide...
Cornyphones and Cardboard Flamingos: A Green Consumer Reads His Breakfast
Recent figures released by the Cereal Action Council of America suggest that on any morning, approximately sixty million Americans are "enjoying a lovely bowl of cereal" (Klopfer 178). The rich diversity of breakfast products-hyper-sweetened Count Chocula,...
Donald Windham: A Bio-Bibliography
Donald Windham: A Bio-Bibliography. Bruce Kellner. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991. $49.95. Interpretation...confession... annotation-these three words epitomize the strikingly different (in style and length) and yet remarkably interrelated components...
Federal Art and National Culture: The Politics of Identity in New Deal America
Federal Art and National Culture: The Politics of Identity in New Deal America. Jonathan Harris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 240 PP This is an excellent book in what promises to be an excellent series ("Cambridge Studies in American...
Gender in Popular Culture: Images of Men and Women in Literature, Visual Media, and Material Culture
Gender in Popular Culture: Images of Men and Women in Literature, Visual Media, and Material Culture. Peter C. Rollins and Susan W. Rollins, eds. Cleveland, OK: Ridgemont Press, 1995. 272 pp. $16.50 paper. (Ridgemont Press, Rt. 3, Box 80, Cleveland,...
"Guys and Dolls" A Musical Fable of Broadway
Frank Loesser (1910-69) belongs to that sparsely populated circle of American songwriters from the pre-rock era who wrote both music and lyrics to their songs; he was a man of prodigious talents and accomplishments. His older brother, Arthur, had a distinguished...
He's Relatively Familiar: Albert Einstein in Contemporary American Fiction
Perhaps one of the truest gauges of a person's impact on culture is the limerick. With that in mind, we should check on the state of Einstein's There was a young lady named Bright, Who traveled much faster than light. She started one day In the relative...
Impostors in the Temple
Impostors in the Temple. Martin Anderson. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. 255 pp. $22.00 cloth. Here is yet another book that preaches the conservative gospel about higher education. Allan Bloom, Charles Sykes, Dinesh D'Souza, Roger Kimball, Page...
Literary Aftershocks: American Writers, Readers, and the Bomb
Literary Aftershocks: American Writers, Readers, and the Bomb. Albert E. Stone. New York: Twayne Publishers; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan, 1994. $26.95 hardcover. Includes index, bibliography, and chronology. The first half-century since the first atomic...
Postmodernism and Popular Culture
Postmodernism and Popular Culture. Angela McRobbie. London and New York. Routledge. 1994. 225 pp. Over the past two decades, Angela McRobbie has been the most vocal proponent of sociological inquiry among her British cultural studies colleagues, and...
Prairie Nights to Neon Lights: The Story of Country Music in West Texas
Prairie Nights to Neon Lights: The Story of Country Music in West Texas. Joe Carr and Alan Munde. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press, 1995. $35.00. The names Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings and Joe Ely are familiar to many...
Professional Wrestling: Why the Bad Guy Wins
In professional wrestling, more often than not, the bad guy wins. The rules are broken. Referees are powerless to prevent the villain's humiliation and degradation of the helpless victim. But in other professional sports, the games are fair and the virtues...
Reading the Voice: Native American Poetry on the Page
Reading the Voice: Native American Poetry on the Page. Paul Zolbrod. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1995. This is a book about poetry: about its sacred under-pinnings, its broad presence in everyday life, its necessity to the human community-all...
Religion in the Contemporary South: Diversity, Community, and Identity
Religion in the Contemporary South: Diversity, Community, and Identity. O. Kendall White, Jr. and Daryl White, eds. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1995. $20.00 paper; $30.00 cloth. In 1941, the sociologist W. J. Cash published a classic...
Sex in America: A Definitive Survey / Going All the Way: Teenage Girls' Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy
Sex in America: A Definitive Survey. Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann and Gina Kolata. New York: Little, Brown, 1994, $22.95 (cloth); Warner Books, 1995, $12.95 (paper). Going All the Way: Teenage Girls' Tales of Sex, Romance, and...
Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters
Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters. Judith Halberstam. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. $15.95 pbk. Judith Halberstam's Skin Shows discusses the historical changes the figure of the monster has undergone in the development of...
Sports in North America: A Documentry History/Volume 4 Sports in War, Revival and Expansion/1860-1880
Sports in North America: A Documentary History/Volume 4 Sports in War, Revival and Expansion/1860-1880. George B. Kirsch. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1995. 390 pp. $72 per volume. This volume of 104 primary historical documents covers...
Superstars, Superheroes and the Male Body Image: The Visual Implications of Football Uniforms
Introduction Ann Hollander has argued most successfully that there is a relationship between the cut of clothes and concepts of the ideal body, and that the body ideal changes as fashions change (84-87). Although football uniforms are not daily dress,...
The American Spectator's R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr: Chicken McMencken
"So many young men get their likes and dislikes from Mencken"-The Sun Also Rises During the 1920s, when the nation became a predominantly urban society, many rushed to join what was widely hailed as a revolution in manners and morals. Yet the voters...
The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History
The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History. Robert C. Harvey. Studies in Popular Culture Series. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1994. 246 pp. $19.95 paper. Students of American popular culture will recognize Robert C. Harvey as a veteran...
The Civil War in Popular Culture: A Reusable Past
The Civil War in Popular Culture: A Reusable Past. Jim Cullen. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995. $29.95 cloth. Perhaps no event in American history has captured the popular imagination more than the Civil War. Depictions of the war in...
The Company of Camelot: Arthurian Characters in Romance and Fantasy
The Company of Camelot: Arthurian Characters in Romance and Fantasy. Charlotte Spivack and Roberta Lynne Staples. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. An increased emphasis on complex characterization is one feature that differentiates modern from medieval...
The Digedags Go West: Images of America in an East German Comic Strip
In the spring of 1992, a Leipzig local newspaper published an article with the headline "Victors of History" (LuK 9). The phrase sounded familiar. As part of the vocabulary of political language in the German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.), it was an important...
The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism
The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature: Fiction as Social Criticism. M. Keith Booker. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. $49.95. The Dystopian Impulse in Modern Literature is an outstanding volume in Greenwood Press' series on the study of science...
The Emperor's Virtual Clothes: The Naked Truth about Internet Culture
The Emperor's Virtual Clothes: The Naked Truth about Internet Culture. Dinty W. Moore. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 1995. $17.95 hardback. Many of our grandparents now have e-mail accounts at America Online. Windows 95 has been hyped beyond any other...
The Island of California, A History of the Myth
The Island of California, A History of the Myth. Dora Beale Polk. University of Nebraska Press, 1995. As the title suggests, California during European global exploration came to symbolize a mythical island. Polk traces how this misconception emerged,...
The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley
The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley. David Adler. New York: Crown, 1993. Illustrated, 160 pp. $15.00 paperback. Mr. Adler, in this humorous yet ultimately tragic tale, contends that Elvis Presley's death was due in large measure to overeating. While...
The Riddle of the Titanic
The Riddle of the Titanic. Robin Gardiner and Dan van der Vat. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995. Conspiracy theories make good media, and a theory so bold as to claim that the "Titanic" never sank was bound to catch any lively news editor's eye....
The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War
The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War. Thomas P. Lowry, M.D. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1994. $19.95 cloth. Very few people link the subjects of sex and the American Civil War, despite the fact that wartime mobilizations...
The Theater of Sport
The Theater of Sport. Baltimore. Karl B. Raitz, ed. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. $19.95 paper. As a collection of essays, The Theater of Sport centers on the complex relationship between a variety of sports, the sites at which they are played...
The Vanishing Vision: The Inside Story of Public Television
The Vanishing Vision: The Inside Story of Public Television. James Day. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. It seems that PBS is always at crisis, so it should come as no surprise that publication of this history of Public Broadcasting is...
The Vietnam War: Teaching Approaches and Resources
The Vietnam War: Teaching Approaches and Resources. Marc Jason Gilbert, ed. (Contributions in Military Studies, #109.) New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. $49.95 cloth. This book is composed of 14 separately authored chapters and an appendix of syllabi....
Visiting the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in July 1893: A Personal View
Chicago asked in 1893 for the first time the question whether the American people knew where they were driving. Adams answered, for one, that he did not know, but would try to find out. On reflecting sufficiently deeply, under the shadow of Richard Hunt's...
Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America
Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in PostVietnam America. James William Gibson. New York: Hill and Wang, 1994. 357 pages with bibliographic references and index. $12.00 paper. James Gibson offers us often compelling insight into American violence...
Women's Magazines and the Suffrage Movement: Did They Help or Hinder the Cause?
Introduction Twenty-six million American women were granted the right to vote on August 20, 1920, after 72 years of struggle (see Table 1). The outcome of the movement remained uncertain until Tennessee ratified the Nineteenth Amendment only three months...