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1 Burnside American Studies- Popular Culture

Hip: The History

by

Hip: The History Cover

ISBN13: 9780060528171
ISBN10: 0060528176
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

"When all is said and done, Hip: The History is not concerned with passing fads. The transient notions of hip that have passed through history still leave their cultural fingerprints on society today....While it's impossible to say what will be hip in the future, Leland does a commendable job in not only explaining what was hip and why, but also in presenting the test kitchen requirements for something to become hip in the future."
Recommended by Gerry, Powells.com

"When all is said and done, Hip: The History is not concerned with passing fads. The transient notions of hip that have passed through history still leave their cultural fingerprints on society today....While it's impossible to say what will be hip in the future, Leland does a commendable job in not only explaining what was hip and why, but also in presenting the test kitchen requirements for something to become hip in the future."
Recommended by Gerry, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How an underground idea shaped American culture, from sex and music to race, fashion, drugs, commerce and the national rites of rebellion.

Hip: The History is the story of an American obsession. Derived from the Wolof word hepi or hipi ("to see," or "to open one's eyes"), which came to America with West African Slaves, hip is the dance between black and white — or insider and outsider — that gives America its unique flavor and rhythm. It has created fortunes, destroyed lives and shaped the way millions of us talk, dress, dance, make love or see ourselves in the mirror. Everyone knows what hip is.

This is the story of how we got here. Hip: The History draws the connections between Walt Whitman and Richard Hell, or Raymond Chandler and Snoop Dogg. It slinks among the pimps, hustlers, outlaws, junkies, scoundrels, white negroes, Beats, geeks, beboppers and other hipsters who crash the American experiment, and without whom we might all be listening to show tunes.

Along the way, Hip: The History looks at hip's quest for authenticity, which binds millions of us together in a paradoxical desire to be different. Because, as George Clinton said, "You can't fake the funk."

Review:

"What is hip? Leland has researched contemporary answers to that question for Spin, Details and the New York Times, and now probes deeper for a rigorous historical analysis that goes beyond the usual hot spots of the Lost Generation and the Harlem Renaissance, encompassing colonial plantations, animation studios, pulp magazine racks and the latest hipster hangouts. The story of hip is largely the story of American race relations, and Leland addresses the ways whites and blacks have interpreted and imitated one another from many angles, as assuredly perceptive when he analyzes Al Jolson's blackface persona as he is exploring the dynamic between bop jazz and Beat Generation writers. Refusing to either champion or condemn 'the white boy who stole the blues,' Leland presents readers with an accessible model of complex social forces. The breadth and sophistication of his argument is admirable, but it wouldn't be as convincing without his engaging tone, which shuns condescension to invite readers into a genial conversation — Leland even jokes about how the nature of hipness might date his book. Leland needn't worry: though hip will always be a matter of perception, few will be able to read this eclectic history without agreeing it's on to something. 49 b&w photos. Agent, Paul Bresnick. (Oct. 5) Forecast: With national radio interviews (including NPR) and author appearances, Leland's chronicle should reach all those who dig pop culture studies, whether they're fans of Miles Davis or the White Stripes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The New York Times? John Leland offers an incisive, entertaining look at this peculiarly American cultural notion." Elle

Review:

"Although books on individual aspects of hip have appeared before, Leland may be the first to look at the big, complex picture. This absorbing analysis is highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"What is hip? If you have to ask, ask John Leland." Joe Levy, Rolling Stone

Review:

"[Leland] takes a sweeping, analytical look at...what it means to be keenly aware of the next big thing." Time Out New York

Review:

"Hip: The History is the definitive work on the subject." Paper Magazine

Review:

"[A] thoroughgoing, research-intensive analysis of that uniquely American anti-establishment posture known as hip....Intriguing, bracing stuff...[it] abounds with ...joyful little provocations and nuggets of concentrated thought." David Kamp, New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

Hip is the story of the evolution of American popular culture over the 20th century to its current position as the world's cultural touchstone. Art throughout.

About the Author

John Leland is a reporter for the New York Times and former editor in chief of Details, and he was an original columnist at SPIN magazine. Robert Christgau of the Village Voice called him "the best American postmod critic (the best new American rock critic period)," and Chuck D of Public Enemy said the nasty parts of the song "Bring the Noise" were written about him. He lives in Manhattan's East Village with his wife, Risa, and son, Jordan.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

nicholasbertram, September 22, 2008 (view all comments by nicholasbertram)
Essential. This book puts it all right on the table. No punches are pulled. A long overdue book on a long overlooked topic. Pick it up!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
pdxmeghan, April 25, 2007 (view all comments by pdxmeghan)
After thinking a little too much about what is now considered cool, how we want it, and how we gain it, I was relieved to find this book, which explores the history not just of cool, but of what it means to be "hip" (and if you didn't know, hip and cool are different). Little did I know the amount of history that was involved in what seems like such an unfounded, very natural feeling in today's world. From minstrel shows to jazz and beyond, this book examines how hip becomes hip and what happens after. This book is for anyone who knows what is behind the modern making of mainstream cool, but wants to dig a little deeper.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060528171
Author:
Leland, John
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Popular Culture
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20041005
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.21 in 24.16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies

Hip: The History Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Ecco - English 9780060528171 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"When all is said and done, Hip: The History is not concerned with passing fads. The transient notions of hip that have passed through history still leave their cultural fingerprints on society today....While it's impossible to say what will be hip in the future, Leland does a commendable job in not only explaining what was hip and why, but also in presenting the test kitchen requirements for something to become hip in the future."

"Staff Pick" by ,

"When all is said and done, Hip: The History is not concerned with passing fads. The transient notions of hip that have passed through history still leave their cultural fingerprints on society today....While it's impossible to say what will be hip in the future, Leland does a commendable job in not only explaining what was hip and why, but also in presenting the test kitchen requirements for something to become hip in the future."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "What is hip? Leland has researched contemporary answers to that question for Spin, Details and the New York Times, and now probes deeper for a rigorous historical analysis that goes beyond the usual hot spots of the Lost Generation and the Harlem Renaissance, encompassing colonial plantations, animation studios, pulp magazine racks and the latest hipster hangouts. The story of hip is largely the story of American race relations, and Leland addresses the ways whites and blacks have interpreted and imitated one another from many angles, as assuredly perceptive when he analyzes Al Jolson's blackface persona as he is exploring the dynamic between bop jazz and Beat Generation writers. Refusing to either champion or condemn 'the white boy who stole the blues,' Leland presents readers with an accessible model of complex social forces. The breadth and sophistication of his argument is admirable, but it wouldn't be as convincing without his engaging tone, which shuns condescension to invite readers into a genial conversation — Leland even jokes about how the nature of hipness might date his book. Leland needn't worry: though hip will always be a matter of perception, few will be able to read this eclectic history without agreeing it's on to something. 49 b&w photos. Agent, Paul Bresnick. (Oct. 5) Forecast: With national radio interviews (including NPR) and author appearances, Leland's chronicle should reach all those who dig pop culture studies, whether they're fans of Miles Davis or the White Stripes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The New York Times? John Leland offers an incisive, entertaining look at this peculiarly American cultural notion."
"Review" by , "Although books on individual aspects of hip have appeared before, Leland may be the first to look at the big, complex picture. This absorbing analysis is highly recommended."
"Review" by , "What is hip? If you have to ask, ask John Leland."
"Review" by , "[Leland] takes a sweeping, analytical look at...what it means to be keenly aware of the next big thing."
"Review" by , "Hip: The History is the definitive work on the subject."
"Review" by , "[A] thoroughgoing, research-intensive analysis of that uniquely American anti-establishment posture known as hip....Intriguing, bracing stuff...[it] abounds with ...joyful little provocations and nuggets of concentrated thought." David Kamp, New York Times Book Review
"Synopsis" by , Hip is the story of the evolution of American popular culture over the 20th century to its current position as the world's cultural touchstone. Art throughout.
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