Synopses & Reviews
Mass Appeal describes the changing world of American popular culture from the first sound movies through the age of television. In short and accessible vignettes, the book reveals the career patterns of people who became big movie, TV, or radio stars. Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson symbolize the early stars of sound movies. Groucho Marx and Fred Astaire represent the movie stars of the 1930s, and Jack Benny stands in for the 1930s performers who achieved their success on radio. Katharine Hepburn, a stage and film star, illustrates the cultural trends of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Humphrey Bogart and Bob Hope serve as examples of performers who achieved great success during the Second World War. Walt Disney, Woody Allen, and Lucille Ball, among others, become the representative figures of the postwar world. Through these vignettes, the reader comes to understand the development of American mass media in the twentieth century.
"With compelling detail and an accessible style, Berkowitz demonstrates how film, radio, and television, from their beginnings to the present, offered all-inclusiveness or, as the title puts it, mass appeal. Highly recommended." -Choice
The development of the movies, radio, and television, fitting the entertainment industry into the larger story of American history.
Mass Appeal provides readers with an accessible and entertaining overview of the development of the movies, radio, and television, from the first sound movies through the 1970s. The book deftly fits the entertainment industry into the larger story of American history.
About the Author
Edward D. Berkowitz is Professor of History at George Washington University. He has held academic positions at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and administrative positions at Brandeis University and the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties. He is the author of six previous books, including Something Happened, his history of the seventies. He is co-author of four other books and editor of three, including A Documentary History of Social Security. Berkowitz has given invited lectures at the European University in Florence, at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and in the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. He has published more than one hundred articles in publications including the Journal of Social History, the Milbank Memorial Quarterly, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the San Jose Mercury News. His media work also includes appearances on Terry Gross's 'Fresh Air', C-SPAN's book channel, and the History Channel. In 2009, he was a principal commentator in the AP-TV's coverage of the Obama administration.
Table of Contents
1. Sound comes in, vaudeville and silent pictures go out; 2. From Broadway to Hollywood with Groucho, Fred, and Ginger; 3. Radio nights; 4. From the 30s to the 40s with Kate, Bud, and Lou; 5. Bogie, Bob, and the boys at war; 6. The postwar movie scene; 7. Make room for TV; 8. Putting it together: Walt Disney introduces the baby boom to television; 9. The end of an era?