Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 3, Fall

A Green Velvety Carpet: The Front Lawn in America
Domestic front lawns in the United States didn't just happen. Lawns do not grow naturally. They are a learned aesthetic that has become popular during the past 120 years. European colonists did not find lawn or pasture grasses in America. They brought...
"A Little Turn through the Country": Presley's Bicycle Ride in Frank Norris's the Octopus
Long before the Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head scene in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid associated the bicycle with the evolving modern west, the "wheel" had made a comparable appearance in Frank Norris' 1901 The Octopus. The first...
Baseball Cards and Race Relations
IntroductionOn May 30 and 31, 1992, in Secaucus, New Jersey, the Negro League Baseball Players Association held their first Memorabilia and Card Show. For this weekend, 34 former Negro League players signed autographs and talked with thousands of black...
Book Reviews -- American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services Edited by Jessica Foy and Thomas J. Schlereth
American Home Life, 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and Services. Jessica Foy and Thomas J. Schlereth, editors. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1993.This book was conceived in the most propitious of circumstances. In 1987 the McFaddin-Ward House initiated...
Book Reviews -- an Enchanting Darkness: The American Vision of Africa in the Twentieth Century by Kenneth Wylie and Dennis Hickey
Kenneth Wylie and Dennis Hickey. An Enchanting Darkness: The American Vision of Africa in the Twentieth Century. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1993. 225 pp. $31.95 cloth.Typically one of the strengths of American Studies scholarship has been the myth/symbol...
Book Reviews -- Baseball between the Wars: Memories of the Game by the Men Who Played It by Eugene Murdock
Baseball Between the Wars: Memories of the Game by the Men Who Played It. Eugene Murdock. Westport, CT and London: Meckler, 1992. 277 pp. Index. $39.50 cloth.This volume contains verbatim interviews with nine Major League baseball players that Eugene...
Book Reviews -- Discourse and Culture: The Creation of America by Alun Munslow
Discourse and Culture: The Creation of America. Alun Munslow. London: Routledge, 1992. 224 pp.Who created America? God, migrating Asians, Amerinds, Europeans? Which Europeans--the Renais-sance sailors and scholars, the Elizabethan swashbucklers, the...
Book Reviews -- Domestic Novelists of the Old South: Defenders of Southern Culture by Elizabeth Moss
Domestic Novelists of the Old South: Defenders of Southern Culture. Elizabeth Moss. Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State UP, 1992.In Domestic Novelists of the Old South, Elizabeth Moss tours the Action of Caroline Gilman, Caroline Hentz, Maria McIntosh,...
Book Reviews -- Hail to the Candidate: Presidential Campaigns from Banners to Broadcasts by Keith Melder
Hail to the Candidate: Presidential Campaigns From Banners to Broadcasts. Keith Melder. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992. Pp. xii, 224; illustrations, index. $39.95 cloth. $19.95 paper.Although generations of American political historians have...
Book Reviews -- Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-62 by Donna DeSalvo, Paul Schimmel et Al
Hand-Painted Pop: American in Transition, 1955-62. Donna DeSalvo, Paul Schimmel, et al. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (exhib. cat.) and Rizzoli International Publications, 1992. Illustrated. 256 pp. Paper $39.95.The traditional explanation...
Book Reviews -- Immigrants and the American City by Thomas Muller
Immigrants and the American City. Thomas Muller. New York: Twentieth Century Fund/New York UP, 1993. $30.00 cloth.This book collides head-on with some long-standing notions about the detrimental impact of immigration on America's economy, society and...
Book Reviews -- Kentucky Bluegrass Country by R. Gerald Alvey
Kentucky Bluegrass Country. R. Gerald Alvey. Jackson, Miss. and London: UP of Mississippi, 1992. $37.50 cloth $16.95 paper.The famous Kentucky bluegrass country--land of aristocratic horse breeders and their jet-set visitors--is hardly the place an unimaginative...
Book Reviews -- Metapop: Self-Referentiality in American Popular Culture (Studies in Popular Culture) by Michael Dunne and Edited by M. Thomas Inge
Metapop: Self-Referentiality in American Popular Culture. Michael Dunne. Studies in Popular Culture; M. Thomas Inge, editor. Jackson & London: UP of Mississippi, 1992. Cloth.Any book whose first chapter is subtitled, "You're So Vain, You Probably...
Book Reviews -- Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O' Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, 1859-1944 by James M. O'Toole
Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O'Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, 1859-1944. James M. O'Toole. Notre Dame, IN: UP of Notre Dame, 1992. vii + 324 pp. $28.95 cloth.In Militant and Triumphant, James M. O'Toole explores a self-posed challenge...
Book Reviews -- Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market by Christin J. Mamiya
Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market. Christin J. Mamiya. Austin: U of Texas P, 1992. 215 + x pages. $17.95 paper; $35 cloth.Christin Mamiya's new book is an engaging and thorough examination of the process by which pop art rose to prominence...
Book Reviews -- Reading Rodney King: Reading Urban Uprising Edited by Robert Gooding-Williams
Reading Rodney King: Reading Urban Uprising. Robert Gooding-Williams, editor. New York, Routledge, 1993. 276 pp.First, the odd title. the editor explains: "Each of the essays reads (interprets) the Rodney King incident..." Surely the pivotal and horrifying...
Book Reviews -- Roadfood: The All-New, Updated and Expanded Edition of the Classic Guide to America's Best Diners, Small-Town Cafes, BBQ Joints and Other Very Special Eateries Serving Great, Inexpensive Regional Food by Jane Stern and Michael Stern
Roadfood: The All-new, Updated and Expanded Edition of the Classic Guide to America's Best Diners, Small-town Cafes, BBQ Joints and Other Very Special Eateries Serving Great, Inexpensive Regional Food. Jane and Michael Stern. New York: Harper Perennial,...
Book Reviews -- the Kentucky Encyclopedia Edited by John E. Kleber
The Kentucky Encyclopedia. John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief. Lexington, KY: UP of Kentucky, 1992. $35.00.Kentucky, as everybody knows, is more than a 50th of the United States. It began as a vision of a distant Eden, was opened up by Daniel Boone and...
Book Reviews -- the Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History Edited by Richard Wightman Fox and T. J. Jackson Lears
The Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History. Richard Wightman Fox and T.J. Jackson Lears, editors. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1993.This book is energized by a commendable goal: to understand the degree to which the power of culture drives...
Book Reviews -- the Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, (1872-1958) by Jack Beatty
The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, (1872-198). Jack Beatty. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992. xix + 558 pp. $25.00 cloth."J.M. was never a rascal...he was the last of our learned, respected, honest men elected to office in...
Book Reviews -- the Tragedy of Abundance: Myth Restoration in American Culture by Jerome O. Steffen
The Tragedy of Abundance: Myth Restoration in American Culture. Jerome O. Steffen. UP of Colorado, 1993.Jerome Steffen, Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma, examines this aspect of American society through three myths: 1) that Americans...
Book Reviews -- the Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of American Methodism by A. Gregory Schneider
The Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of American Methodism. A. Gregory Schneider. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993.In our present society when insecure and frightened people are turning more and more to bedrock religious and cultural fundamentalism...
Book Reviews -- Wobblies, Pile Butts, and Other Heroes: Laborlore Explorations by Archie Green
Wobblies, Pile Butts, and Other Heroes: Laborlore Explorations. Archie Green. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1993.Archie Green is one of laborlore's finest raconteurs. He tells what he knows, and he knows about everything connected with American labor, with...
Civil War Reenactors and the Postmodern Sense of History
"Remarkably, Din of Civil War Is Growing Louder," declared an April 1990 New York Times headline to a short piece on the popular American passion for the Civil War. James McPherson is quoted as having been "astonished" by its persistence and growth....
Ezra Pound: The Marxist Anti-Semitic Zionist?
Tim Redman would judge Pound's relation to Italian Fascism after a "full and fair consideration of the facts" (8). Not only is his work seriously flawed by over-documentation at the expense of ideological analysis and by omission of incriminating facts,...
Innovations for Home Dressmaking and the Popularization of Stylish Dress
Euro-American women writing of their work and lives during the 18th and early 19th centuries described their sewing more than any other domestic labor (Green and Perry 79; DePauw, Hunt and Schneir 48). No wonder scholarship confirms that textiles and...
New England Neo-Pagans: Medievalism, Fantasy, Religion
Last June I had dinner with Jane and Mary, women I've known for more than 20 years, but neither would answer to those names. They live in Connecticut. One works for Yale and the other for Time/Warner: these are their "day jobs." In their real lives,...
Race and Manners for Southern Girls and Boys: "The Miss Minerva" Books and Race Relations in a Southern Children's Series
In 1909 the Reilly and Lee Company of Chicago published Miss Minerva and William Green Hill, the only novel of Frances Boyd Calhoun. This book of a child's life in the post-bellum South quickly became a regional classic and went through 50 printings...
Social Constructions and Cultural Contradictions: A Look at a Christian Perspective on Economics
Christian Economics and the New Christian RightThe economic perspective that I label "Christian economics" is predicated on two things. One is the inerrant Bible and the other is the neoclassical economic paradigm. The former is cited to support the...
Stanley Burnshaw: The New Masses Years
Stanley Burnshaw's broad compass embraces seven decades. He is described by Alfred Kazin as a "remarkable writer-biographer, theorist, critic and translator of poetry and a fresh and vivid poet himself" in his latest work, A Stanley Burnshaw Reader (1990)....
The French Revolution and the American Invention of Dentistry
Antoine Lavoisier stepped up to the guillotine on May 8, 1794. History would remember Lavoisier as the founder of modern chemistry. He named oxygen and described its role in combustion. He demonstrated the law of conservation of matter and wrote the...
The Popularity of Paranormal Experiences in the United States
Paranormal experiences are defined as those instances in which persons perceive phenomena that appear to defy scientific explanation. Such experiences include feeling as though one has encountered the spirit of someone who has died (an idionecrophany),...