Americans flocked to the movies in 1945 and 1946ùthe center point of the three-decade heyday of the studio system's sound era. Why?
Best Years is a panoramic study, shining light on this critical juncture in American historyand the history of American cinemaùthe end of World War II (1945) and a year of unprecedented success in Hollywood's "Golden Age" (1946). This unique time, the last year of war and the first full year of peace, provides a rich blend of cinema genres and typesùfrom the battlefront to the home front, the peace film to the woman's film, psychological drama, and the period's provocative new style, film noir.
Best Years focuses on films that were famous, infamous, forgotten, and unforgettable. Big budget A-films, road shows, and familiar series share the spotlight. From Bergman and Grant in Notorious to Abbott and Costello in Lost in a Harem, Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron examine why the bond between screen and viewer was perhaps never tighter. Paying special attention to the movie-going public in key cities--Atlanta, New York, Boston, Honolulu, and Chicago--this ambitious work takes us on a cinematic journey to recapture a magical time.
Exile—with its sense of suspended or impending motion, of change, loss, acceptance—gives James J. McAuley’s poems their need to be, their means of surviving the exigencies of the displaced spirit. Ancestors on both sides of his family were bards in Celtic Ireland. Although a naturalized United States citizen, McAuley has maintained his connections with his native land: the Irish times listed him among one hundred “significant Irish writers.” Although the poet writes of the familial and the domestic, he is writing at the same time of journeys out and back, of losses and recoveries. McAuley is as much at ease with the solemnity of elegy as with the invective of political satire or the sensual metaphysics of the love-poem.
As a poet, author, and keen observer of life in 1870s Boston, Harriet Robinson played an essential—if occasionally underappreciated—role in the women’s suffrage movement during Boston’s golden age. Robinson flourished after leaving behind her humble roots in the mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, deciding to spend a year in Boston discovering the culture and politics of America’s Athens. An honest, bright, and perceptive witness, she meets with Emerson and Julia Ward Howe, with whom she organizes the New England Women’s Club, and drinks deeply of the city’s artistic and cultural offerings. Noted historian Claudia L. Bushman proves a wonderful guide as she weaves together Robinson’s journal entries, her own learned commentary, and selections from other nineteenth-century writers to reveal the impact of the industrial revolution and the rise of women’s suffrage as seen through the experience of one articulate, engaged participant. Going to Boston will appeal to readers interested in both the history of Boston and the history of American progress itself.
Going to Court to Change Japan takes us inside movements dealing with causes as disparate as death by overwork, the rights of the deaf, access to prisoners on death row, consumer product safety, workers whose companies go bankrupt, and persons convicted of crimes they did not commit. Each of the six fascinating case studies stands on its own as a detailed account of how a social movement has persisted against heavy odds to pursue a cause through the use of the courts.
The studies pay particular attention to the relationship between the social movement and the lawyers who handle their cases, usually pro bono or for minimal fees. Through these case studies we learn much about how the law operates in Japan as well as how social movements mobilize and innovate to pursue their goals using legal channels. The book also provides a general introduction to the Japanese legal system and a look at how recent legal reforms are working.
Going to Court to Change Japan will interest social scientists, lawyers, and anyone interested in the inner workings of contemporary Japan. It is suitable for use in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Japan in social sciences and law, and can also provide a comparative perspective to general courses in these fields. Contributors include John H. Davis Jr., Daniel H. Foote, Patricia L. Maclachlan, Karen Nakamura, Scott North, Patricia G. Steinhoff, and Christena Turner.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, modern Chinese intellectuals, reformers, revolutionaries, leftist journalists, and idealistic youth had often crossed the increasing gap between the city and the countryside, which made the act of “going to the countryside” a distinctively modern experience and a continuous practice in China. Such a spatial crossing eventually culminated in the socialist state program of “down to the villages” movements during the 1960s and 1970s. What, then, was the special significance of “going to the countryside” before that era? Going to the Countryside deals with the cultural representations and practices of this practice between 1915 and 1965, focusing on individual homecoming, rural reconstruction, revolutionary journeys to Yan’an, the revolutionary “going down to the people” as well as going to the frontiers and rural hometowns for socialist construction. As part of the larger discourses of enlightenment, revolution, and socialist industrialization, “going to the countryside” entailed new ways of looking at the world and ordinary people, brought about new experiences of space and time, initiated new means of human communication and interaction, generated new forms of cultural production, revealed a fundamental epistemic shift in modern China, and ultimately created a new aesthetic, social, and political landscape.
As a critical response to the “urban turn” in the past few decades, this book brings the rural back to the central concern of Chinese cultural studies and aims to bridge the city and the countryside as two types of important geographical entities, which have often remained as disparate scholarly subjects of inquiry in the current state of China studies. Chinese modernity has been characterized by a dual process that created problems from the vast gap between the city and the countryside but simultaneously initiated constant efforts to cope with the gap personally, collectively, and institutionally. The process of “crossing” two distinct geographical spaces was often presented as continuous explorations of various ways of establishing the connectivity, interaction, and relationship of these two imagined geographical entities. Going to the Countryside argues that this new body of cultural productions did not merely turn the rural into a constantly changing representational space; most importantly, the rural has been constructed as a distinct modern experiential and aesthetic realm characterized by revolutionary changes in human conceptions and sentiments.
Conventional wisdom holds that the Bush administration was able to convince the American public to support a war in Iraq on the basis of specious claims and a shifting rationale because Democratic politicians decided not to voice opposition and the press simply failed to do its job.
Drawing on the most comprehensive survey of public reactions to the war, Stanley Feldman, Leonie Huddy, and George E. Marcus revisit this critical period and come back with a very different story. Polling data from that critical period shows that the Bush administration’s carefully orchestrated campaign not only failed to raise Republican support for the war but, surprisingly, led Democrats and political independents to increasingly oppose the war at odds with most prominent Democratic leaders. More importantly, the research shows that what constitutes the news matters. People who read the newspaper were more likely to reject the claims coming out of Washington because they were exposed to the sort of high-quality investigative journalism still being written at traditional newspapers. That was not the case for those who got their news from television. Making a case for the crucial role of a press that lives up to the best norms and practices of print journalism, the book lays bare what is at stake for the functioning of democracy—especially in times of crisis—as newspapers increasingly become an endangered species.
In Paris in the Dark Eric Smoodin takes readers on a journey through the streets, cinemas, and theaters of Paris to sketch a comprehensive picture of French film culture during the 1930s and 1940s. Drawing on a wealth of journalistic sources, Smoodin recounts the ways films moved through the city, the favored stars, and what it was like to go to the movies in a city with hundreds of cinemas. In a single week in the early 1930s, moviegoers might see Hollywood features like King Kong and Frankenstein, the new Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier movies, and any number of films from Italy, Germany, and Russia. Or they could frequent the city's ciné-clubs, which were hosts to the cinéphile subcultures of Paris. At other times, a night at the movies might result in an evening of fascist violence, even before the German Occupation of Paris, while after the war the city's cinemas formed the space for reconsolidating French film culture. In mapping the cinematic geography of Paris, Smoodin expands understandings of local film exhibition and the relationships of movies to urban space.
Cora Diamond follows two major philosophers as they think about thinking, and about our ability to respond to thinking that has gone astray. Acting as both witness to and participant in the encounter, she provides fresh perspective on the value of Wittgenstein’s and Anscombe’s work, and demonstrates what genuinely independent thought can achieve.