Are Thomas Piketty’s analyses of inequality on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas he pushed to the forefront of global conversation? In After Piketty, a cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.
A rugged land between the Black and Caspian seas, the Caucasus is a battle ground for a fascinating and formidable clash of cultures: Russia on one side, the predominantly Muslim mountains on the other. In Caucasus, award-winning author Nicholas Griffin recounts his journey to this war torn region to explore the roots of today's conflict, centering his travelogue on Imam Shamil, the great nineteenth century Muslim warrior who commanded a quarter-century resistance against invading Russian forces.
Delving deep into the Caucasus, Griffin transcends the headlines trumpeting Chechen insurgency to give the land and its conflicts dimension: evoking the weather, terrain, and geography alongside national traditions, religious affiliations, and personal legends as barriers to peaceful co-existence. In focusing his tale on Shamil while retracing his steps, Griffin compellingly demonstrates the way history repeats itself.
A young Lutheran girl grows up on Long Island, New York. She aspires to be a doctor, and is on the fast track to marriage and the conventional happily-ever-after. But, as the Yiddish saying goes, "Man plans, and God laughs." Meet Andrea Myers, whose coming-of-age at Brandeis, conversion to Judaism, and awakening sexual identity make for a rich and well-timed life in the rabbinate.
In The Choosing, Myers fuses heartwarming anecdotes with rabbinic insights and generous dollops of humor to describe what it means to survive and flourish on your own terms. Portioned around the cycle of the Jewish year, with stories connected to each of the holidays, Myers draws on her unique path to the rabbinate--leaving behind her Christian upbringing, coming out as a lesbian, discovering Judaism in college, moving to Israel, converting, and returning to New York to become a rabbi, partner, and parent.
Myers relates tales of new beginnings, of reinventing oneself, and finding oneself. Whether it's a Sicilian grandmother attempting to bake hamantaschen on Purim for her Jewish granddaughter, or an American in Jerusalem saving a chicken from slaughter during a Rosh Hashanah ritual, Myers keeps readers entertained as she reflects that spirituality, goodness, and morality can and do take many forms. Readers will enthusiastically embrace stories of doors closing and windows opening, of family and community, of integration and transformation. These captivating narratives will resonate and, in the author's words, "reach across coasts, continents, and generations."
Cultural Democracy explores the crisis of our national cultural vitality, as access to the arts becomes increasingly mediated by a handful of corporations and the narrow tastes of wealthy elites. Graves offers the concept of cultural democracy as corrective--an idea with important historic and contemporary validation, and an alternative pathway toward ethical cultural development that is part of a global shift in values.
Drawing upon a range of scholarship and illustrative anecdotes from his own experiences with cultural programs in ethnically diverse communities, Graves explains in convincing detail the dynamics of how traditional and grassroots cultures may survive and thrive--or not--and what we can do to provide them opportunities equal to those of mainstream, Eurocentric culture.
In a substantial new afterword to his classic account of the collapse of American triumphalism in the wake of World War II, Tom Engelhardt carries that story into the twenty-first century. He explores how, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the younger George Bush headed for the Wild West (Osama bin Laden, "Wanted, Dead or Alive"); how his administration brought "victory culture" roaring back as part of its Global War on Terror and its rush to invade Saddam Husseins's Iraq; and how, from its "Mission Accomplished" moment on, its various stories of triumph crashed and burned in that land.
The Florida Project
J. J. Murphy University of Texas Press, 2021 Library of Congress PN1997.2.F64M87 2021 | Dewey Decimal 791.4372
In Sean Baker’s award-winning 2017 film The Florida Project, a young girl, her single mother, and her friends live in rundown motels near Disney World, the children’s summer fun contrasting with the grim conditions around them. In this book, J. J. Murphy delves deep into the movie’s development and filming while also examining it within the wider context of Baker’s career.
Using production documents, different versions of the screenplay, and interviews with principal members of the production team, Murphy traces the evolution of The Florida Project from initial idea through its various stages of production. He highlights Baker’s unconventional strategies in making a film about a marginalized subculture, including alternative scripting, guerrilla-like filmmaking, improvisation, and the unorthodox casting of local and first-time actors. Murphy also explores how Baker’s impromptu style sometimes rankled crew members and caused a major crisis on set, revealing the difficulties indie filmmakers can face when working with professional crews on larger films. A lively analysis of this critically acclaimed movie, its director, and its production, The Florida Project also betters our understanding of contemporary independent cinema as a whole.
In 1999, the University of Chicago Press published a collection of Mike Royko's columns, entitled One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko. The response was immediate and overwhelming—readers almost instantly began asking when the second volume of Royko columns would appear. With more than a hundred vintage Royko columns and a foreword by Roger Ebert, For the Love of Mike was the answer.
Royko, a nationally syndicated Pulitzer Prize winner, wrote for three major Chicago newspapers in the course of his 34 years as a daily columnist. Chosen from more than 7,000 columns, For the Love of Mike brings back more than a hundred vintage Royko pieces-most of which have not appeared since their initial publication-for readers across the country to enjoy. This second collection includes Royko's riffs on the consequences of accepting a White House dinner invitation (not surprisingly, he turned it down); his explanation of the notorious Ex-Cub Factor in World Series play; and his befuddlement at a private screening of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, to which he was invited by his pal Ebert, the screenplay's author. The new collection also illuminates Royko's favorite themes, topics he returned to again and again: his skewering of cultural trends, his love of Chicago, and his rage against injustice. By turns acerbic, hilarious, and deeply moving, Royko remains a writer of wit and passion who represents the best of urban journalism.
"To read these columns again is to have Mike back again, nudging, chuckling, wincing, deflating pomposity, sticking up for the little guy, defending good ideas against small-minded people," writes Roger Ebert in his foreword to the book. For the Love of Mike does indeed bring Mike back again, and until a Chicago newspaper takes up Ebert's suggestion that it begin reprinting each of Royko's columns, one a day, this collection will more than satisfy Royko's loyal readers.
From “getting loose” to “letting it all hang out,” the 1970s were filled with exhortations to free oneself from artificial restraints and to discover oneself in a more authentic and creative life. In the wake of the counterculture of the 1960s, anything that could be made to yield to a more impulsive vitality was reinvented in a looser way. Food became purer, clothing more revealing, sex more orgiastic, and home decor more rustic and authentic.
Through a sociological analysis of the countercultural print culture of the 1970s, Sam Binkley investigates the dissemination of these self-loosening narratives and their widespread appeal to America’s middle class. He describes the rise of a genre of lifestyle publishing that emerged from a network of small offbeat presses, mostly located on the West Coast. Amateurish and rough in production quality, these popular books and magazines blended Eastern mysticism, Freudian psychology, environmental ecology, and romantic American pastoralism as they offered “expert” advice—about how to be more in touch with the natural world, how to release oneself into trusting relationships with others, and how to delve deeper into the body’s rhythms and natural sensuality. Binkley examines dozens of these publications, including the Whole Earth Catalog, Rainbook, the Catalog of Sexual Consciousness, Celery Wine, Domebook, and Getting Clear.
Drawing on the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, and others, Binkley explains how self-loosening narratives helped the middle class confront the modernity of the 1970s. As rapid social change and political upheaval eroded middle-class cultural authority, the looser life provided opportunities for self-reinvention through everyday lifestyle choice. He traces this ethos of self-realization through the “yuppie” 1980s to the 1990s and today, demonstrating that what originated as an emancipatory call to loosen up soon evolved into a culture of highly commercialized consumption and lifestyle branding.
Heidi Hart University of Utah Press, 2004 Library of Congress BX8695.H35A3 2004 | Dewey Decimal 289.3092
"Ever since I was 10 years old, I’d felt myself yearning to 'go astray.' For me, that didn’t mean drinking and cavorting with boys; it meant being myself without fear."—from the book
What happens when a trained singer who grew up in a "house of vowels" finds that her voice is not her own? What happens when a woman loses the Mormon faith of her childhood and abandons the rituals she’s always known? What does a woman, already married for thirteen years by her early thirties, do when she realizes she has been "lying for years?" How does one sing, with grace, from the heart?
In the spirit of Mary Catherine Bateson’s Composing a Life and Kathleen Norris’s Cloister Walk, Heidi Hart’s luminous memoir retraces her search for an opening to her heart’s path. She finds that the religious life of her Latter-day Saint family—which includes a revered General Authority—robs her of her voice and her spirit. When she discovers Catharine, a mute, Quaker ancestor, Hart begins a vital journey—a journey blessed by her devout and devoted husband; a journey that leads her as she studies Zuni mythology, Jewish tradition, Benedictine monastic ritual, Emily Dickinson, and Saint Hildegard of Bingen—a journey that leads her to a place that feels like home: the company of Friends, the Quaker community of Salt Lake City.
With grace and lyricism, Hart shares the private, personal wisdom she has earned in her community of friends, a community that embraces silences and dissonance, a place where she can't keep from singing.
Hop on Pop showcases the work of a new generation of scholars—from fields such as media studies, literature, cinema, and cultural studies—whose writing has been informed by their ongoing involvement with popular culture and who draw insight from their lived experiences as critics, fans, and consumers. Proceeding from their deep political commitment to a new kind of populist grassroots politics, these writers challenge old modes of studying the everyday. As they rework traditional scholarly language, they search for new ways to write about our complex and compelling engagements with the politics and pleasures of popular culture and sketch a new and lively vocabulary for the field of cultural studies. The essays cover a wide and colorful array of subjects including pro wrestling, the computer games Myst and Doom, soap operas, baseball card collecting, the Tour de France, karaoke, lesbian desire in the Wizard of Oz, Internet fandom for the series Babylon 5, and the stress-management industry. Broader themes examined include the origins of popular culture, the aesthetics and politics of performance, and the social and cultural processes by which objects and practices are deemed tasteful or tasteless. The commitment that binds the contributors is to an emergent perspective in cultural studies, one that engages with popular culture as the culture that "sticks to the skin," that becomes so much a part of us that it becomes increasingly difficult to examine it from a distance. By refusing to deny or rationalize their own often contradictory identifications with popular culture, the contributors ensure that the volume as a whole reflects the immediacy and vibrancy of its objects of study. Hop on Pop will appeal to those engaged in the study of popular culture, American studies, cultural studies, cinema and visual studies, as well as to the general educated reader.
Contributors. John Bloom, Gerry Bloustein, Aniko Bodroghkozy, Diane Brooks, Peter Chvany, Elana Crane, Alexander Doty, Rob Drew, Stephen Duncombe, Nick Evans, Eric Freedman, Joy Fuqua, Tony Grajeda, Katherine Green, John Hartley, Heather Hendershot, Henry Jenkins, Eithne Johnson, Louis Kaplan, Maria Koundoura, Sharon Mazer, Anna McCarthy, Tara McPherson, Angela Ndalianis, Edward O’Neill, Catherine Palmer, Roberta Pearson, Elayne Rapping, Eric Schaefer, Jane Shattuc, Greg Smith, Ellen Strain, Matthew Tinkhom, William Uricchio, Amy Villarego, Robyn Warhol, Charles Weigl, Alan Wexelblat, Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Nabeel Zuberi
More than two decades after serving as a juror on the high-profile seven-month murder trial People v. Erik Galen Menendez, Hazel Thornton updates her book Hung Jury with a new preface and a postscript essay of observations about the Menendez brothers’ second trial. Includes psychological commentary by Lawrence S. Wrightsman and Amy J. Posey, and legal commentary by Alan Scheflin.
Immigration and the growing Latino population of the United States have become such contentious issues that it can be hard to have a civil conversation about how Latinoization is changing the face of America. So in the summer of 2007, Louis Mendoza set out to do just that. Starting from Santa Cruz, California, he bicycled 8,500 miles around the entire perimeter of the country, talking to people in large cities and small towns about their experiences either as immigrants or as residents who have welcomed—or not—Latino immigrants into their communities. He presented their enlightening, sometimes surprising, firsthand accounts in Conversations Across Our America: Talking About Immigration and the Latinoization of the United States. Now, in A Journey Around Our America, Mendoza offers his own account of the visceral, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of traveling the country in search of a deeper, broader understanding of what it means to be Latino in the United States in the twenty-first century. With a blend of first- and second-person narratives, blog entries, poetry, and excerpts from conversations he had along the way, Mendoza presents his own aspirations for and critique of social relations, political ruminations, personal experiences, and emotional vulnerability alongside the stories of people from all walks of life, including students, activists, manual laborers, and intellectuals. His conversations and his experiences as a Latino on the road reveal the multilayered complexity of Latino life today as no academic study or newspaper report ever could.
Memoirs and Reflections
Evgeny Kissin University Press of New England, 2018 Library of Congress ML417.K664A3 2017 | Dewey Decimal 786.2092
Evgeny Kissin is an internationally renowned classical pianist admired for his interpretations of the repertoires of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. The intensity of Kissin’s thinking animates this candid memoir, illuminating his astonishing memory, his fondness for his family and teachers, and his artistic sense of self. Memoirs and Reflections chronicles Kissin’s musical education and his early career. His writing is infused with his lifelong engagement with music: an obsessive love that captured, challenged, and nurtured him from a young age. He recounts fortuitous events and serendipitous encounters with remarkable musicians and conductors, including Herbert von Karajan. This book shows Kissin to be surprisingly modest and down-to-earth in spite of his astonishing gift. He writes of his family and friends with tender affection and touching detail. Reading this intimate memoir is like having a private audience with the great pianist himself.
The history of the study of popular culture in American academic since its (re)introduction in 1967 is filled with misunderstanding and opposition. From the first, proponents of the study of this major portion of american culture made clear that they were interested in making popular culture a supplement to the usual courses in such fields as literature, sociology, history, philosophy, and the other humanities and social sciences; nobody proposed that study of popular culture replace the other disciplines, but many suggested that it was time to reexamine the accepted courses and see if they were still viable. Opposition to the status quo always causes anxiety and oppostion, but when the issues are clarified, often oppoosition and anxiety melt away, as they are now doing.
On the Run in Siberia
Rane Willerslev University of Minnesota Press, 2012 Library of Congress DK759.Y8W5413 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.8946
If I had let myself be ruled by reason alone, I would surely be lying dead somewhere or another in the Siberian frost.
The Siberian taiga: a massive forest region of roughly 4.5 million square miles, stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Bering Sea, breathtakingly beautiful and the coldest inhabited region in the world. Winter temperatures plummet to a bitter 97 degrees below zero, and beneath the permafrost lie the fossilized remains of mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, and other ice age giants. For the Yukaghir, an indigenous people of the taiga, hunting sable is both an economic necessity and a spiritual experience—where trusting dreams and omens is as necessary as following animal tracks. Since the fall of Communism, a corrupt regional corporation has monopolized the fur trade, forcing the Yukaghir hunters into impoverished servitude.
Enter Rane Willerslev, a young Danish anthropologist who ventures into this frozen land on an idealistic mission to organize a fair-trade fur cooperative with the hunters. From the outset, things go terribly wrong. The regional fur company, with ties to corrupt public officials, proves it will stop at nothing to maintain its monopoly: one of Willerslev’s Yukaghir business partners is arrested on spurious charges of poaching and illegal trading; another drowns mysteriously. When police are sent to arrest him, Willerslev fears for his life, and he and a local hunter flee to a remote hunting lodge even deeper in the icy wilderness. Their situation turns even more desperate right away: they manage to kill a moose but lose the meat to predators and begin to starve, frostbitten and isolated in the frozen taiga.
Thus begins Willerslev’s extraordinary, chilling tale of one year living in exile among Yukaghir hunters in the stark Siberian taiga region. At turns shocking and quietly moving, On the Run in Siberia is a pulse-pounding tale of idealism, political corruption, starvation, and survival (with a timely assist from Vladimir Putin) as well as a striking portrait of the Yukaghirs’ shamanistic tradition and their threatened way of life, a drama unfolding daily in one of the world’s coldest, most enthralling landscapes.
With the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko was a Chicago institution who became, in Jimmy Breslin's words, "the best journalist of his time." Culled from 7500 columns and spanning four decades, from his early days to his last dispatch, the writings in this collection reflect a radically changing America as seen by a man whose keen sense of justice and humor never faltered. Faithful readers will find their old favorites and develop new ones, while the uninitiated have the enviable good fortune of experiencing this true American voice for the first time.
"A treasure trove lies between these covers. Royko was in a class by himself. He was a true original."—Ann Landers
"The joy of One More Time is Royko in his own words."—Mary Eileen O'Connell, New York Times Book Review
"Reading a collection of Royko's columns is even more of a pleasure than encountering them one by one, and that is a large remark for he rarely wrote a piece that failed to wake you up with his hard-earned moral wit. Three cheers for Royko!"—Norman Mailer
"Powerful, punchy, amazingly contemporary."—Neil A. Grauer, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This crackling collection of his own favorite columns as well as those beloved by his fans reminds us just how much we miss the gruff, compassionate voice of Mike Royko."—Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News
"A marvelous road map through four decades of America."—Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune Books
"Royko was an expert at finding universal truths in parochial situations, as well as in the larger issues—war and peace, justice and injustice, wealth and poverty—he examined. Think of One More Time as one man's pungent commentary on life in these United States over the last few decades."—Booklist
"Royko was one of the most respected and admired people in the business, by readers and colleagues alike. . . . Savor [his sketches] while you can."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"Book collections of columns aren't presumed to be worth reading. This one is, whether or not you care about newspapering or Chicago."—Neil Morgan, San Diego Union-Tribune
"A treasure house for journalism students, for would-be writers, for students of writing styles, for people who just like to laugh at the absurdity of the human condition or, as Studs Terkel said, for those who will later seek to learn what it was really like in the 20th century."—Georgie Anne Geyer, Washington Times
"Full of astonishments, and the greatest of these is Royko's technical mastery as a writer."—Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker
"A great tribute to an American original, a contrarian blessed with a sense of irony and a way with words."—Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
"In this posthumous collection of his columns, journalist Royko displays the breezy wit that made him so beloved in the Windy City."—People
From Walt Whitman forward, a century and a half of radical experimentation and bold speech by gay and lesbian poets has deeply influenced the American poetic voice. In Our Deep Gossip, Christopher Hennessy interviews eight gay men who are celebrated American poets and writers: Edward Field, John Ashbery, Richard Howard, Aaron Shurin, Dennis Cooper, Cyrus Cassells, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Kazim Ali. The interviews showcase the complex ways art and life intertwine, as the poets speak about their early lives, the friends and communities that shaped their work, the histories of gay writers before them, how sex and desire connect with artistic production, what coming out means to a writer, and much more.
While the conversations here cover almost every conceivable topic of interest to readers of poetry and poets themselves, the book is an especially important, poignant, far-reaching, and enduring document of what it means to be a gay artist in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century America.
In Reproducing Inequities, M. Catherine Maternowska argues that we too easily overlook the political dynamics that shape choices about family planning. Through a detailed study of the attempt to provide modern contraception in the community of Cité Soleil, Maternowska demonstrates the complex interplay between local and global politics that so often thwarts well-intended policy initiatives.
"One of the more provocative studies of why middle America is making increasing use of ritual healing and what that choice tells us of problems with biomedical care in technological institutions. . . . A welcome addition to anthropological studies of ritual healing in other societies, and it illuminates a huge component of our health care system that is poorly understood."--Arthur Kleinman, M.D., Harvard University "An all too rare volume, namely a scholarly work on the practice of healing in suburban or what we might call middle-class America. McGuire, perhaps uniquely, has set out the religious or 'ritual' healing beliefs and practices that are usually strictly segregated and kept apart. . . . Anyone who takes seriously the need to understand 'healing' . . . should obtain this book."--Health and Healing "The power of the book is in the larger cultural analysis it offers . . . a valuable contribution to medical sociology."--Sociological Analysis "This welcome study of nonmedical healing among upper-middle-class and middle-class persons in Essex County, New Jersey, clearly shows how individuals become attracted to and influenced by alternative healing techniques."--Choice "Develops an innovative sociological approach to the study of alternative healing practices through a methodologically sound qualitative study. . . . The high quality of research and conceptualization and the meticulous documentation of the relevant literature make [this book] essential reading for those interested in the sociology and anthropology of religion and of medicine, and in the study of health and illness in contemporary America."--Contemporary Sociology "A major contribution."--The Christian Century "The remarkable strength of this book about the exotic in the commonplace is that it demonstrates both that ritual healing is widespread in the heartland of medical technology, and that the wide variety of ritual healing practices are based on similar structures."--Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry Meredith B. McGuire is professor of sociology at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and the author of Pentecostal Catholics and other books. Debra Kantor is acting director of education and training for the New Jersey Medical School National Tuberculosis Center.
Most would agree that American culture changed dramatically from the 1960s to the 1980s. Yet the 1970s, the decade “in between,” is still somehow thought of as a cultural wasteland. In The Seventies Now Stephen Paul Miller debunks this notion by examining a wide range of political and cultural phenomena—from the long shadow cast by Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal to Andy Warhol and the disco scene—identifying in these phenomena a pivotal yet previously unidentified social trend, the movement from institutionalized external surveillance to the widespread internalization of such practices. The concept of surveillance and its attendant social ramifications have been powerful agents in U.S. culture for many decades, but in describing how during the 1970s Americans learned to “survey” themselves, Miller shines surprising new light on such subjects as the women’s movement, voting rights enforcement, the Ford presidency, and environmental legislation. He illuminates the significance of what he terms “microperiods” and analyzes relevant themes in many of the decade’s major films—such as The Deer Hunter, Network, Jaws, Star Wars, and Apocalypse Now—and in the literature of writers including John Ashbery, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, and Sam Shepard. In discussing the reverberations of the 1969 Stonewall riots, technological innovations, the philosophy of Michel Foucault, and a host of documents and incidents, Miller shows how the 1970s marked an important period of transition, indeed a time of many transitions, to the world we confront at the end of the millennium. The Seventies Now will interest students and scholars of cultural studies, American history, theories of technology, film and literature, visual arts, and gay and lesbian studies.
“I think we have to get to the real, to catch the facts we have, to hold on to what we see. . . .in this time where lies are currency,” Sonya Huber writes in her book-length essay Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day. On the theory that naming the truths of quotidian experience can counter the dangerous power of lies, she carefully recounts two anxiety-fueled days one fall. On the first, she is arrested as part of a climate protest in Times Square. On the other, she must make it to her court appearance while also finding time to take her son to get his learner's permit. Paying equal attention to minor details, passing thoughts, and larger political concerns around activism and parenting in the Trump-era United States, Huber asks: How can one simultaneously be a good mother, a good worker, and a good citizen? As she reflects on the meaning of protest and on whiteness and other forms of privilege within political activism, Huber offers a wry, self-aware, and stirring testament to the everyday as a seedbed for meaningful change.
Leonard Moore has been teaching Black history for twenty-five years, mostly to white people. Drawing on decades of experience in the classroom and on college campuses throughout the South, as well as on his own personal history, Moore illustrates how an understanding of Black history is necessary for everyone.
With Teaching Black History to White People, which is “part memoir, part Black history, part pedagogy, and part how-to guide,” Moore delivers an accessible and engaging primer on the Black experience in America. He poses provocative questions, such as “Why is the teaching of Black history so controversial?” and “What came first: slavery or racism?” These questions don’t have easy answers, and Moore insists that embracing discomfort is necessary for engaging in open and honest conversations about race. Moore includes a syllabus and other tools for actionable steps that white people can take to move beyond performative justice and toward racial reparations, healing, and reconciliation.
Passengers disco dancing in The Love Boat’s Acapulco Lounge. A young girl walking by a marquee advertising Deep Throat in the made-for-TV movie Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway. A frustrated housewife borrowing Orgasm and You from her local library in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Commercial television of the 1970s was awash with references to sex. In the wake of the sexual revolution and the women’s liberation and gay rights movements, significant changes were rippling through American culture. In representing—or not representing—those changes, broadcast television provided a crucial forum through which Americans alternately accepted and contested momentous shifts in sexual mores, identities, and practices.
Wallowing in Sex is a lively analysis of the key role of commercial television in the new sexual culture of the 1970s. Elana Levine explores sex-themed made-for-TV movies; female sex symbols such as the stars of Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman; the innuendo-driven humor of variety shows (The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Laugh-In), sitcoms (M*A*S*H, Three’s Company), and game shows (Match Game); and the proliferation of rape plots in daytime soap operas. She also uncovers those sexual topics that were barred from the airwaves. Along with program content, Levine examines the economic motivations of the television industry, the television production process, regulation by the government and the tv industry, and audience responses. She demonstrates that the new sexual culture of 1970s television was a product of negotiation between producers, executives, advertisers, censors, audiences, performers, activists, and many others. Ultimately, 1970s television legitimized some of the sexual revolution’s most significant gains while minimizing its more radical impulses.
Something happened in the 1990s, something dramatic and irreversible. A group of people long considered a moral menace and an issue previously deemed unmentionable in public discourse were transformed into a matter of human rights, discussed in every institution of American society. Marriage, the military, parenting, media and the arts, hate violence, electoral politics, public school curricula, human genetics, religion: Name the issue, and the the role of gays and lesbians was a subject of debate. During the 1990s, the world seemed finally to turn and take notice of the gay people in its midst. In The World Turned, distinguished historian and leading gay-rights activist John D’Emilio shows how gay issues moved from the margins to the center of national consciousness during the critical decade of the 1990s.
In this collection of essays, D’Emilio brings his historian’s eye to bear on these profound changes in American society, culture, and politics. He explores the career of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and pacifist who was openly gay a generation before almost everyone else; the legacy of radical gay and lesbian liberation; the influence of AIDS activist and writer Larry Kramer; the scapegoating of gays and lesbians by the Christian Right; the gay-gene controversy and the debate over whether people are "born gay"; and the explosion of attention focused on queer families. He illuminates the historical roots of contemporary debates over identity politics and explains why the gay community has become, over the last decade, such a visible part of American life.