Download American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt by John Beckman PDF

By John Beckman

Here is an lively and fantastically enticing paintings of cultural historical past that lays out America's unruly prior by way of describing the ways that slicing free has regularly been, and nonetheless is, a vital a part of what it skill to be an American.

From the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, americans have defied their stodgy ideas and hierarchies with pranks, dances, stunts, and wild events, shaping the nationwide personality in profound and lasting methods. within the nation's prior eras, revelers flouted Puritans, Patriots pranked Redcoats, slaves lampooned masters, and forty-niners bucked the saddles of an more and more uptight heart classification. within the 20th century, fun-loving americans celebrated this historical past and driven it even extra: flappers "barney-mugged" in "petting pantries," Yippies showered the recent York inventory trade with buck debts, and B-boys invented hip-hop in a conflict region within the Bronx.

This is the astounding and revelatory background that John Beckman recounts in American Fun. Tying jointly appealing tales of Americans' "pursuit of happiness"--and distinguishing among actual, dicy enjoyable and the tasteless amusements that cleared the path for Hollywood, Disneyland, and Xbox--Beckman redefines American tradition with a pleasant and provocative thesis.

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

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Additional resources for American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt

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But however convincing the argument may be, Smith’s dis- Year 501_text pages_5_Layout 1 1/30/15 4:04 PM Page 21 “ The Great Work of Subjugation and Conquest” 21 cussion also explains why it is not to the point. ” The military costs alone are a severe burden, apart from the distortions of investment and trade. For the great body of people of England, the East India monopoly and the North American colonies may indeed have been the “absurdity” Smith claims, and “grievous” as well in their impact on the English colonists.

But the “natural boundaries” of the South also have to be defended. Hence the dedicated efforts to ensure that no sector of the South goes a separate way, and the trepidations, often near-hysteria, if some deviation is detected. All must be properly integrated into the global economy dominated by the state capitalist industrial societies. The South is assigned a service role: to provide resources, cheap labor, markets, opportunities for investment and, lately, export of pollution. For the past half-century, the US has shouldered the responsibility for protecting the interests of the “satisfied nations” whose power places them “above the rest,” the “rich men dwelling at peace within their habitations” to whom “the government of the world must be entrusted,” as Winston Churchill put the matter after World War II.

Once again, the British might launch “mingled hordes of lawless Indians and negroes” in a “savage war” against the “peaceful inhabitants” of the United States. In 1827, Poinsett had reported to Washington that the “half-breed” Cherokee chief Richard Fields and the “notorious” John Hunter had “hoisted a red and white banner,” seeking to establish a “union of whites and Indians” in Texas; Hunter was a white man raised by the Indians who returned to the West to try to prevent genocide. ” Washington would, in short, continue in its policies of genocide (in contemporary terminology), putting an end to “this madness” of a free Red-White society.

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