Pop music is only one aspect of contemporary Russian culture that has taken some unexpected turns in the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Television and advertising, theater and cinema, athletics and religion, even fashion and food now reflect more exposure to the West, yet remain in essence distinctively Russian.
“Pop Culture Russia!” introduces readers to the fascinating, often surprising, post-Soviet cultural landscape. With chapters on media, the arts, recreation, religion, and consumerism, the book offers an insightful survey of Russian mass culture from the death of Stalin in 1953 to the present, exploring the historical significance of important events and trends, as well as the social and political contexts from which they emerged.
Through the perspectives of selected best-selling novels from the end of World War II to the end of the 20th century–including The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather, Jaws, Beloved, The Silence of the Lambs, and Jurassic Park–this book examines the crucial issues the U.S. was experiencing during those decades. These novels represent the voices of popular conversations, as Americans considered issues of family, class, racism and sexism, feminism, economic ambition, sexual violence, war, law, religion and science.
Through the windows of fiction, the book surveys the Cold War and anti-communism, the prefeminist era of the 1950s and the sexual revolution of the 1970s, forms of corporate power in the 1960s and 1980s, the traumatic legacies of slavery and Vietnam, the American fascination with lawyers, cops and criminals, alternate styles of romance in the era of late capitalism, our abiding distrust of science, and our steadfast wonder about the Great Mysteries.
The phrase `production of culture’ is concerned with how the organizations in which culture is produced and disseminated affect the nature of culture itself. Yet there is no clear consensus on what is meant by this phrase. Crane, in reviewing and synthesizing current research, provides a systematic and accessible approach to this complex subject.
She examines the issue on both popular and elite levels. The reader is thus allowed to see how the notion of `production’ changes depending on the size of the audience and the structure of the particular cultural industry.
“To understand the history and spirit of America, one must know its wars, its laws, and its presidents. To really understand it, however, one must also know its cheeseburgers, its love songs, and its lawn ornaments. The long-awaited Guide to the United States Popular Culture provides a single-volume guide to the landscape of everyday life in the United States. Scholars, students, and researchers will find in it a valuable tool with which to fill in the gaps left by traditional history. All American readers will find in it, one entry at a time, the story of their lives.”–Robert Thompson, President, Popular Culture Association.
“At long last popular culture may indeed be given its due within the humanities with the publication of The Guide to United States Popular Culture. With its nearly 1600 entries, it promises to be the most comprehensive single-volume source of information about popular culture. The range of subjects and diversity of opinions represented will make this an almost indispensable resource for humanities and popular culture scholars and enthusiasts alike.”–Timothy E. Scheurer, President, American Culture Association
“The popular culture of the United States is as free-wheeling and complex as the society it animates. To understand it, one needs assistance. Now that explanatory road map is provided in this Guide which charts the movements and people involved and provides a light at the end of the rainbow of dreams and expectations.”–Marshall W. Fishwick, Past President, Popular Culture Association
Features of The Guide to United States Popular Culture:
Entries range from general topics (golf, film) to specific individuals, items, and events
Articles are supplemented by bibliographies and cross references