The Beer Can by the Highway: Essays on What's American about America

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JHU Press, 1988 - Literary Collections - 255 pages
2 Reviews

First published in 1961, The Beer Can by the Highway takes a provocative, wide-ranging look at America's ever-changing physical and intellectual landscapes, from advertising and jazz to Manhattan's skyline and the prairies of the Midwest. The Johns Hopkins edition features a foreword by Ralph Ellison, who praises the work as "one that springs from deep within that rich segment of the American grain which gave us the likes of Emerson and Whitman, Horatio Greenough and Constance Rourke—yes, and Mark Twain."

 

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

This should have been interesting, but failed. The author was filled with the pretentiousness of the working class, looking down on everyone and everything. In addition, he is a boring writer. Read full review

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User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

This should have been interesting, but failed. The author was filled with the pretentiousness of the working class, looking down on everyone and everything. In addition, he is a boring writer. Read full review

Contents

FOREWORD by Ralph Ellison
9
The Dispraising of America
21
Whats American about America
37
The Curriculum of Discovery
75
Liberal Crafts and Illiberal Arts
87
Farewell Architecture
105
What Is American in Architecture
137
Up Tails All
163
Soft Sell Hard Sell Padded Sell
185
The Beer Can by the Highway
215
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
243
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About the author (1988)

John A. Kouwenhoven (1909–1990) taught English at Barnard College for many years. His books include The Columbia Historical Portrait of New York, Made in America, and Half a Truth Is Better than None.

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