Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture

George Lipsitz, Author University of Minnesota Press $34.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-8166-1805-7
This high take on ``low'' culture examines the complex web of popular narratives that arise from and create the American collective memory. Studying the period from the end of WW II to the present, Lipsitz ( Class and Culture in Cold War America ) inventively explores the popular canon, turning variously to television, rock music, film, novels and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans who spend all year preparing to celebrate Carnival. Lipsitz argues that TV shows such as I Remember Mama gave voice to immigrant working-class families, in part to inculcate that subculture with a consumer ethic. Rock music is seen as an important dialogic process with African origins, incorporating influences from a variety of ethnic groups . Lipsitz's vocabulary subscribes to academic trends (``metaphoricity''), and careless editing permits a repetition of phrases and ideas. But the author frequently arranges amusing juxtapositions--such as epigraphs by Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-8166-1806-4
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-8166-3881-9
Open Ebook - 326 pages - 978-0-8166-9330-6
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