Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America

Marion Jacobson. Univ. of Illinois, $29.95 (TKp) ISBN 978-0-252-03675-0
Beginning with the accordion’s invention in Austria in 1828, Jacobson, an accordionist in her own right, traces the instrument’s impact on early 20th-century America during its vaudeville era and its recent revival over the past two decades. Using meticulous research, Jacobson not only touches on how topics as diverse as immigration, movies, war, and feminism have influenced the accordion’s popularity, but she also finds time to drop in countless little known pop culture nuggets about great accordionists like Guido Deiro, who was married to Mae West. Despite each chapter reading like a stand-alone academic paper, Jacobson, thanks to her straightforward prose and obvious passion for the accordion, does a good job of creating a coherent narrative that holds the work’s various themes together and enlivens the more academic aspects. While this book, like the accordion, may not be for everyone, it certainly should be recognized as an achievement in musical and cultural research. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 294 pages - 978-0-252-09385-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-252-08095-1
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