The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century

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Verso, Jan 1, 1996 - History - 556 pages
8 Reviews
A major reassessment of US cultural history, The Cultural Front is a mural of the extraordinary upsurge which reshaped American modernism and mass culture in the middle decades of the 20th century. Born as a proletarian avant-garde in the wake of the General Strikes of 1934, the cultural front came of age in the labor movement, the New Deal arts projects, and the film, radio and recording studios. Its successes provoked a cultural civil war, as mid-century America was dominated by Congressional investigations, Hollywood blacklists, and the red scare. Beginning with a historical overview of the Popular Front social movement, and of the rise of the modern cultural apparatus, Michael Denning reconsiders the work and politics of two generations of artists, writers and intellectualscelebrated figures like Welles, Holiday, Ellington, John Dos Passos, Woody Guthrie, Tillie Olsen and Richard Wright as well as lesser-known figures like fashion designer Elizabeth Hawes, Japanese emigre feminist Haru Matsui, bricklayer novelist Pietro di Donato, and blues singer Josh White - and illuminates their social consciousness and political unconscious, as they struggled to create a genuinely democratic popular culture.
  

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Review: The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Will - Goodreads

Started reading this book because of research on the sociopolitical background of composer Aaron Copland. Became intrigued with how socially and politically liberal the decade of the 1930s really was ... Read full review

Review: The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century

User Review  - Vicki - Goodreads

Michael Denning's The Cultural Front: The Labouring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century presents a historical and cultural analysis of the Popular Front social movement of the 1930s in ... Read full review

Contents

Waiting for Lefty
3
ANATOMY OF THE CULTURAL FRONT
51
Aesthetic Ideologies
115
FORMATIONS OF THE CULTURAL FRONT
161
Rethinking Proletarian Literature
200
Ghetto Pastorals
230
The Art and Science of Migratin
259
The Popular Front Musical Theater
283
Theater
319
Orson Welless Allegories
362
Whos Afraid of Big Bad Walt? Disneys Radical Cartoonists
403
American Culture and Socialist Theory
423
The Old Left Eleven Outlined Epitaphs
463
Notes
473
Index
545
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About the author (1996)

Michael Denning teaches American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Mechanic Accents, Cover Stories, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, and The Cultural Front.

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