Democratic Artworks: Politics and the Arts from Trilling to Dylan

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SUNY Press, 1998 - Art - 232 pages
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Focusing on a period in which the meaning of democracy came to the forefront of public debate, the fifties and sixties, the author argues that the arts can strengthen democracy by politically educating citizens. Hersch addresses this issue by first looking at the ideas of Lionel Trilling and the New York Intellectuals in the 1950s, as expressed through literature and social commentary, and then by showing how jazz and rock musicians in the 1960s, through their individual songs and performances, expressed the ideas and ideals of the political movements of that decade. Democratic Artworks is the first to consider the New York Intellectuals, sixties jazz, or Bob Dylan from the perspective of political theory and to focus on their contributions to democracy.
 

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Contents

Literature and Democracy The New York Intellectuals
17
Liberalism the Novel and the Self Lionel Trilling and the Dilemmas of Political Action
53
The Sixties Politics Aesthetics and Everyday Life
77
Let Freedom Ring Jazz and African American Politics 19501970
95
Authenticity and Surreality Bob Dylan the New Left and the Counterculture
127
Conclusion
163
Notes
173
Index
221
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About the author (1998)

Charles Hersch is Associate Professor of Political Science at Cleveland State University.

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