The iconic images of Uncle Sam and Marilyn Monroe, or the ´´fireside chats´´ of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the oratory of Martin Luther King, Jr.: These are the words, images, and sounds that populate American cultural history. From the Boston Tea Party to the Dodgers; from the Blues to Andy Warhol; from dime novels to Disneyland, the history of American culture tells us how previous generations of Americans have imagined themselves, their nation, and their relationship to the world and its peoples. This Very Short Introduction recounts the history of American culture and its creation by diverse social and ethnic groups. In doing so, it emphasizes the historic role of culture in relation to broader social, political, and economic developments. Across the lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as language, region, and religion, diverse Americans have forged a national culture with a global reach, inventing stories that have shaped a national identity and an American way of life. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tanya Eby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/012112/bk_tant_012112_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In this highly original history of the world´s most famous bicycle race, Christopher S. Thompson, mining previously neglected sources and writing with infectious enthusiasm for his subject, tells the compelling story of the Tour de France from its creation in 1903 to the present. Weaving the words of racers, politicians, Tour organizers, and a host of other commentators together with a wide-ranging analysis of the culture surrounding the event—including posters, songs, novels, films, and media coverage—Thompson links the history of the Tour to key moments and themes in French history. Examining the enduring popularity of Tour racers, Thompson explores how their public images have changed over the past century. A new preface explores the long-standing problem of doping in light of recent scandals. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Kevin Scollin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/011854/bk_adbl_011854_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Beatles: Image and the Media charts the transformation of the Beatles from teen idols to leaders of the youth movement and powerful cultural agents. Drawing upon American mainstream print media, broadcasts, albums, films, and videos, the study covers the band´s career in the United States. Michael R. Frontani explores how the Beatles´ media image evolved and how this transformation related to cultural and historical events. Upon their arrival in the U.S., the Beatles wore sharply tailored suits and cast themselves as adorable, accessible teen heartthrobs. By the end of the decade, they had absorbed the fashion and consciousness of the burgeoning counterculture and were using their interviews, media events, and music to comment on issues such as the Vietnam War, drug culture, and civil rights. Frontani traces the steps that led to this change and comments on how the band´s mantra of essential optimism never wavered despite the evolution of its media profile. The book is published by University Press of Mississippi. Michael R. Frontani is associate professor of communications at Elon University. His work has appeared in American Journalism, Journal of American Culture, Journalism History, and African Studies Review. 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Langton. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/000901/bk_acx0_000901_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
An award-winning Northwestern University psychology professor reveals how the cultural obsession with women´s appearance is an epidemic that harms women´s ability to get ahead and to live happy, meaningful lives, in this powerful, eye-opening work in the vein of Naomi Wolf, Peggy Orenstein, and Sheryl Sandberg. Today´s young women face a bewildering set of contradictions when it comes to beauty. They don´t want to be Barbie dolls but, like generations of women before them, are told they must look like them. They´re angry about the media´s treatment of women but hungrily consume the very outlets that belittle them. They mock modern culture´s absurd beauty ideal and make videos exposing Photoshopping tricks but feel pressured to emulate the same images they criticize by posing with a ´´skinny arm´´. They understand that what they see isn´t real but still download apps to airbrush their selfies. Yet these same young women are fierce fighters for the issues they care about. They are ready to fight back against their beauty-sick culture and create a different world for themselves, but they need a way forward. In Beauty Sick, Dr. Renee Engeln, whose TEDx talk on beauty sickness has received more than 250,000 views, reveals the shocking consequences of our obsession with girls´ appearance on their emotional and physical health and their wallets and ambitions, including depression, eating disorders, disruptions in cognitive processing, and lost money and time. Combining scientific studies with the voices of real women of all ages, she makes clear that to truly fulfill their potential, we must break free from cultural forces that feed destructive desires, attitudes, and words - from fat-shaming to denigrating commentary about other women. She provides inspiration and workable solutions to help girls and women overcome negative attitudes and embrace their whole selves, to transform their lives, claim the futures they deserve, and, ultimately, chan... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/005961/bk_harp_005961_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Amid all the printer´s ink and historical speculation, the antebellum period (approx. 1820-1860) has largely been ignored until recently. The antebellum period often gets lost between the better-documented Federalist and Victorian eras. Well-educated adults are often unsure of the meaning of the term antebellum or relegate the entire pre-Civil War era to Margaret Mitchell´s images of Clayton County, Georgia in Gone with the Wind with its magnolia-scented plantations, hoop skirts, and flirtatious Southern Belles. While Mitchell´s view of the Old South was not too far removed from the truth, and deserves its venerated place as a work of fiction and cinematography, it is far from giving a full historical view of all of antebellum America. Americans were acutely aware of the business climate and political activities taking place across the globe and not only those of local importance. While the speed of modern communications would be incomprehensible to them, antebellum Americans did not live in a box sealed off from the rest of the world. As will be seen, there is ample evidence that Americans affected and were affected by occurrences that took place oceans away. They were expansionists, not isolationists. Moreover, antebellum Americans were seaman, merchants, and traders; students, visitors and expatriates; Northerners, Southerners, and emigrants; who fully participated in an empire of goods coming from sources in every corner of the world. Here in this pretty world gallantry took its last bow. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gloria Mason Martin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/075389/bk_acx0_075389_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Audie Award Nominee, History, 2013 Toby Lester, author of the award-winning The Fourth Part of the World, masterfully crafts yet another century-spanning saga of people and ideas in this epic story of Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic drawing of a man inscribed in a circle and a square. Over time, the nearly 550-year-old ink-on-paper sketch has transformed into a collective symbol of the nature of genius, the beauty of the human form, and the universality of the human spirit; it has also been replicated ad nauseam on mass-produced coffee cups, T-shirts, book covers, and corporate logos. With narrative flair and great intellectual sweep, Lester revives the rich history of Vitruvian Man and endows the drawing with renewed authenticity. Not only did Leonardo subscribe to the idea—first conceived by the Roman architect Vitruvius—that the human body was a microcosm geometrically aligned with the divine circle and the earthly square, Lester reveals that by studying the body’s proportions and anatomy, the artist also felt he could obtain a godlike perspective of the world´s makeup. Da Vinci´s Ghost captures a pivotal time in the history of Western thought, when the Middle Ages was giving way to the Renaissance, when art and science and philosophy all seemed to be converging as one, and when it seemed possible, at least to Leonardo da Vinci, that a single human being might embody—and even understand—the nature of everything. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Stephen Hoye. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/002372/bk_tant_002372_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different - and far more interesting - as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archaeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For centuries, key records remained hidden - sometimes deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from Xi´an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. There was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between East and West. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China´s main partners were the people of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road´s transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archaeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and China. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jo Anna Perrin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/012123/bk_tant_012123_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Widely admired as the definitive cultural history of the 1960s, this groundbreaking work finally reappears in a new edition. The turbulent 1960s, almost from its outset, produced a dizzying display of cultural images and ideas that were as colorful as the psychedelic T-shirts that became part of its iconography. It was not, however, until Morris Dickstein´s landmark Gates of Eden, first published in 1977, that we could fully grasp the impact of this raucous decade in American history as a momentous cultural epoch in its own right, as much as Jazz Age America or Weimar Germany. From Ginsberg and Dylan to Vonnegut and Heller, this lasting work brilliantly re-creates not only the intellectual and political ferment of the decade but also its disillusionment. What results is an inestimable contribution to our understanding of 20th-century American culture. Cover photo: Fred W. McDarrah/Premium Archive/Getty Images and Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Brian Sutherland. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/024068/bk_adbl_024068_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) has always engendered an emotional reaction from the public. From his appearance as an Olympic champion to his iconic status as a national hero, his carefully constructed image and controversial persona has always been intensely scrutinized. In Muhammad Ali, Michael Ezra considers the boxer who calls himself ´´The Greatest” from a new perspective. He writes about Ali’s pre-championship bouts, the management of his career and his current legacy, exploring the promotional aspects of Ali and how they were wrapped up in political, economic, and cultural ´´ownership.” Ezra’s incisive study examines the relationships between Ali’s cultural appeal and its commercial manifestations. Citing examples of the boxer’s relationship to the Vietnam War and the Nation of Islam - which serve as barometers of his ´´public moral authority” - Muhammad Ali analyzes the difficulties of creating and maintaining these cultural images, as well as the impact these themes have on Ali’s meaning to the public. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Chuck Patyk. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/015077/bk_acx0_015077_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Throughout his career, Johnny Cash was depicted - and depicted himself - as a walking contradiction: social protestor and establishment patriot, drugged wildman and devout Christian crusader, rebel outlaw hillbilly thug and elder statesman. Leigh H. Edwards explores the allure of this paradoxical image and its cultural significance. She argues that Cash embodied irresolvable contradictions of American identity that reflect foundational issues in the American experience, such as the tensions between freedom and patriotism, individual rights and nationalism, the sacred and the profane. She illustrates how this model of ambivalence is a vital paradigm for American popular music, and for American identity in general. Making use of sources such as Cash´s autobiographies, lyrics, music, liner notes, and interviews, Edwards pays equal attention to depictions of Cash by others, such as Vivian Cash´s publication of his letters to her, documentaries and music journalism about him, Walk the Line, and fan club materials found in the archives at the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, to create a full portrait of Cash and his significance as a cultural icon. The book is published by Indiana University Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Beth Richmond. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/redw/000053/bk_redw_000053_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.