American Culture in the 1910s (Twentieth-Century American by Mark Whalan

By Mark Whalan

With the book of this quantity, Edinburgh collage Press closes out its super winning tradition background sequence, which writes the tale of the 20 th century during the cultural and highbrow activities of every decade. The 1910s have been in general ruled via the horrors of the 1st glossy struggle, however it additionally witnessed the flowering of modernism, the beginning of Hollywood, and the increase of innovative interpretations of tradition and society. Mark Whalan investigates this decade via achievements in fiction and poetry; artwork and images; movie and vaudeville; and song, theater, and dance. He comprises particular observation and directed case reports of influential texts and occasions and comprises chronologies and bibliographies. He considers Tarzan of the Apes, The beginning of a state, the novel modernism of Gertrude Stein, the Provincetown gamers, and jazz music's earliest recordings. A concluding bankruptcy explores the influence of the 1st international warfare on cultural understandings of nationalism, citizenship, and propaganda.

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20 This ambition sought to displace an upper-class emphasis on individualism, leisure and pleasure as the pre-eminent focus of social existence, and to eradicate a working-class emphasis on mutualism and socialism. Instead, Progressives stressed duty, the regulation and moderation of consumption, and a model of social interaction that several Progressive theorists referred to as ‘association’ and ‘social solidarity’. Progressive achievements in the 1910s were considerable – constitutional amendments alone provided for directly elected senators in 1913, which curtailed the power of party machines and business interests to appoint senators; the establishment of a graduated federal income tax and inheritance tax; and the franchise to women in 1920.

Just one of several critics who saw America as less able to resist the social ravages of industrialism owing to its lack of a long-established and tenacious pre-industrial culture, he lamented that the energy which had built the Louvre and Chartres Cathedral represented ‘the highest energy ever known to man, the creator of four-fifths of his noblest art . . 100 Cultures of Nationalism As several cultural historians have observed, these bifurcations were frequently framed in gendered terms – women were variously linked with a rarefied and meliorist form of high culture, with the spirituality of old Europe, and also frequently with the energies of a developing mass culture.

64 Socialism and the Left Feminists were not the only ones who critiqued Progressives for underestimating the importance of pleasure in human life, and for idealising the rational citizen in a way that downgraded or pathologised the importance of desire to the human personality. Socialists often saw Progressive moves to regulate social and cultural activity – whether through the prohibition movement, or the censorship and morality campaigns which targeted most forms of mass culture in the decade – as little more than class-based cultural imperialism.

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