Synopses & Reviews
As garment workers, longshoremen, autoworkers, sharecroppers and clerks took to the streets, striking and organizing unions in the midst of the Depression, artists, writers and filmmakers joined the insurgent social movement by creating a cultural front. Disney cartoonists walked picket lines, and Billie Holiday sand ‘Strange Fruit’ at the left-wing cabaret, Café Society. Duke Ellington produced a radical musical, Jump for Joy
, New York garment workers staged the legendary Broadway revue Pins and Needles
, and Orson Welles and his Mercury players took their labor operas and anti-fascist Shakespeare to Hollywood and made Citizen Kane
A major reassessment of US cultural history, The Cultural Front is a vivid mural of this extraordinary upheaval which reshaped American culture in the twentieth century.
The Cultural Frontcharts the extraordinary upsurge of cultural activity and theory in America that began during the Great Depression and embraced Disney animators and proletarian novelists alike, alongside Orson Welles, Duke Ellington, John Dos Passos, C. L. R James and Billie Holiday. Spawned by the Popular Front of the Communist Party, it grew to encompass virtually every aspect of high and popular art in the US, instigating one of the most culturally exciting and rich periods in American history.
About the Author
Michael Denning teaches American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Mechanic Accents, Cover Stories, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, and The Cultural Front.