In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created in the bold, pulpy pages of comic books. The Ten-Cent Plague explores this cultural emergence and its fierce backlash while challenging common notions of the divide between "high" and "low" art.
"As good as a novel!"
David Hajdu begins Love for Sale, his personal history of recorded pop music, in an unexpected place - not with nostalgic reminiscences of the 45s of his youth but with the sheet music era at the end of the 19th century. It was not so much the beginning of popular music - many songs were already popular - as it was the beginning of the popular music industry. And if he's going to understand what his 45s meant to him, this is the place to start.
Positively 4th Street is a mesmerizing account of how four young people (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina) gave rise to a modern-day bohemia and created the enduring sound and style of the 1960s.
"Lousy reader ruins otherwise interesting history"
If popular music is escapist fun, why are the songs so sad?