Body & Soul: The Making of American Modernism

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Basic Books, 2000 - Art - 475 pages
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In this book Robert Crunden puts the “jazz” back in Jazz Age. Jazz was America’s greatest contribution to the Modernist movement, yet it is much overlooked. When we hear the term “Jazz Age,” we conjure the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Eliot, not of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. To correct this imbalance, Crunden re-introduces us to these musical luminaries who gave the era its name, while tracing the early history of jazz from New Orleans to Chicago to New York.While Crunden emphasizes music over literature and the visual arts, he never fails to trace the complex cross-currents of literature that passed between jazz musicians and their “Lost Generation” peers, a veritable pageant of the glittering personalities of the day—James Joyce, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, John Dos Passos, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein.

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About the author (2000)

Crunden was professor of American studies at the University of Texas.

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