Dancing in the Dark

A Cultural History of the Great Depression
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (23.48 hours)
Product Number: Z100097897
Released: Jun 21, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781483076393
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Hailed as one of the best books of 2009 by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, this vibrant portrait of 1930s culture masterfully explores the anxiety and hope, the despair and surprising optimism of distressed Americans during the Great Depression. Morris Dickstein, whom Norman Mailer called "one of our best and most distinguished critics of American literature," has brought together a staggering range of material, from epic Dust Bowl migrations to zany screwball comedies, elegant dance musicals, wildly popular swing bands, and streamlined art deco designs. Exploding the myth that Depression culture was merely escapist, Dickstein concentrates on the dynamic energy of the arts and the resulting lift they gave to the nation's morale. A fresh and exhilarating analysis of one of America's most remarkable artistic periods, with Dancing in the Dark Dickstein delivers a monumental critique.

Author(s): Morris Dickstein
Genre: History
Original Publish Date: Sep 06, 2010

Professional reviews

"The title refers to a Depression-era song that captured the zeitgeist of the New Deal society and culture. Focusing on the milieu of the 1930s, an art critic dwells on the enormous effect poverty and hopelessness made on American arts: films, novels, theater, and music. Dickstein provides examples from hundreds of sources, making peripatetic leaps through time as he pontificates. Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner inflects the narrative by nearly yelling at times and then dropping to a level that is barely audible. He does a Yiddish accent and reads complete lines of the language. After warming to Hillgartner's turgid style, listeners may come to agree that he aptly reproduces the aesthetic changes Dickstein discusses in his gloomy Steinbeck-like portrayals of life and penury. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"

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