The Making of Middlebrow Culture

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 09.11.2000 - 438 Seiten
The proliferation of book clubs, reading groups, "outline" volumes, and new forms of book reviewing in the first half of the twentieth century influenced the tastes and pastimes of millions of Americans. Joan Rubin here provides the first comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon, the rise of American middlebrow culture, and the values encompassed by it.
Rubin centers her discussion on five important expressions of the middlebrow: the founding of the Book-of-the-Month Club; the beginnings of "great books" programs; the creation of the New York Herald Tribune's book-review section; the popularity of such works as Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy; and the emergence of literary radio programs. She also investigates the lives and expectations of the individuals who shaped these middlebrow institutions--such figures as Stuart Pratt Sherman, Irita Van Doren, Henry Seidel Canby, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, John Erskine, William Lyon Phelps, Alexander Woollcott, and Clifton Fadiman.
Moreover, as she pursues the significance of these cultural intermediaries who connected elites and the masses by interpreting ideas to the public, Rubin forces a reconsideration of the boundary between high culture and popular sensibility.

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THE MAKING OF MIDDLEBROW CULTURE

Nutzerbericht  - Kirkus

Rubin (American Studies/SUNY at Brockport) offers a thorough, thoughtful history and critique of ``middlebrow culture'' during the 1920's-40's, profiling Will Durant and other ``apostles of a ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Chapter 1 Self Culture and SelfCulture in America
1
Stuart Pratt Sherman Irita Van Doren and Books
34
The Early History of the BookoftheMonth Club
93
John Erskine and Great Books
148
illustrations
199
Will Durant and the Vogue of the Outline
209
Book Programs on Commercial Radio
266
Notes
331
Bibliography
373
Index
405
Permissions
415
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Über den Autor (2000)

Joan Shelley Rubin, professor of history at the University of Rochester, is author of Constance Rourke and American Culture.

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