Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter

Aesthetic Ideology
Aesthetic Ideology. Paul de Man. Introduction by Andrzej Warminski, ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. This book collects essays from the last years of de Man's life (1977-83) concerning the "critical linguistic analysis" of the possibility...
Creating Literature out of Life: The Making of Four Masterpieces
Creating Literature Out of Life: The Making of Four Masterpieces. Doris Alexander. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1996. This is a splendidly conceived book which is weakened by a fatal flaw. The purpose is to demonstrate that great works...
Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory
Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory. Edward Caudill. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997. Legend (or is it myth?) has it that when Queen Victoria was told of Darwin's theory of evolution, she became pale and answered: "Oh,...
Gettysburg: Display Window for Popular Memory
Gettysburg's streets rocked with the din of artillery on February 26, 1884. Added to the clamor of bells and cheering crowds fluttering red, white, and blue, the booming signaled festivity rather than conflagration. Into the town irrevocably changed...
"Gotta Get a Gimmick": The Burlesque Career of Millie De Leon
You can pull all the stops out Till they call the cops out Grind your behind till you're banned But ya gotta get a gimmick If you wanna get a hand .... "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" (Sondheim) Although Stephen Sondheim's lyrics were sung by a fictitious...
Hazardous Duty
Hazardous Duty. David H. Hackworth. New York: William Morrow and Company. 1996. David Hackworth, a decorated Army colonel appeared on "Issues and Answers" on June 27, 1971, speaking from Vietnam. He condenmed top military managers, called their mistakes...
Hollywood's Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film
Hollywood's Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film. Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, eds. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998. In the 1992 film Thunderheart, Sam Shepard checks out Val Kilmer's profile and tells him he looks...
Hooker: An Authentic Wrestler's Adventures Inside the Bizarre World of Pro Wrestling
Hooker: An Authentic Wrestler's Adventures Inside the Bizarre World of Pro Wrestling. Lou Thesz, with Kit Bauman. Norfolk, VA: By the author, 7647 Granby St., 1995. Though not really what one might expect from a book with the word "hooker" in the title,...
Life and Death by Electricity in 1890: The Transfiguration of William Kemmler
Considerable speculation has heretofore attended the precise location of the soul, but, according to the Electrical World, the mystery is now solved. Dr. A. H. Stevens, of Philadelphia, has located it in the corpus callosum, a little spongy body situated...
Maligning Poverty's Prophet: Puck, Henry George and the New York Mayoral Campaign of 1886
Introduction Puck magazine's caricatures of Henry George (HG), the internationally known American social reformer who ran for mayor of New York in 1886, provided an insightful and unique commentary on his controversial crusade to reform the capitalist-industrialist...
Manhood in America: A Cultural History
Manhood in America: A Cultural History. Michael Kimmel. New York, The Free Press: 1997. Michael Kimmel claims that men do not have a history--espite the fact that men have traditionally dominated history books-and he is right. With the exception of a...
"Men Have Tears in Them": The Other Cowboy Hero
With the exception of the word I have italicized, the following characterization of the Western is acceptable: the Western "makes an absolute and value-laden division between the masculine and feminine spheres," linking masculinity with such things as...
Pop Culture Legends Series
Chelsea House Publisher's newest addition to their Pop Culture Legends Series (which includes books on Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Stephen King, and Bruce Springsteen, among others) is a short history of the legendary Grateful Dead (GD). These, books designed...
Processed Lives: Gender and Technology in Everyday Life
Processed Lives: Gender and Technology in Everyday Life. Jennifer Terry and Melodie Calvert, eds. New York: Routledge, 1997. A lively and engaging anthology, Processed Lives covers a wide spectrum of feminist approaches to technology. Using a broad definition...
Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party
Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party. Shawn Levy. New York: Doubleday, 1998. 344 pp. $23.95. The major figures of Hollywood's "Rat Pack" are all gone now, since Frank Sinatra checked out earlier this...
Shakespeare, the Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV and Video
Shakespeare, the Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV and Video. Lee Clark Mitchell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Lee Clark Mitchell in Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film writes a cultural history of The American Genre,...
The World According to Hollywood: 1918-1939
The World According to Hollywood: 1918-1939. Ruth Vasey. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997. Hollywood between the two World Wars-in Vasey's opinion "the most visible and arguable the most influential cultural institution on ear-"does not think...
Weird and Wonderful: The Dime Museum in America
Weird and Wonderful: The Dime Museum in America. Andrea Stulman Dennett. New York: New York University Press, 1997. xiv +200 pp. While the history of nineteenth century popular culture has recently come to life with studies of the minstrel show and burlesque,...
Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film / Updating the Literary West / Les Haut et Les Bas De L'Imaginaire Western Dans la Culture Mediatique
Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film. Lee Clark Mitchell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Updating the Literary West. Western Literature Association et al. Fort Worth, TX: Texas Christian University Press, 1997. Les Haut et Les Bas...
Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement: Life on the Home Frontier
Women in Waiting in the Westward Movement: Life on the Home Frontier. Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. People interested in published pioneer women's journals and diaries have many to choose from: Mollie: The...
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