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Mass Appeal

The Formative Age of the Movies, Radio, and TV

Edward D. Berkowitz (George Washington University, Washington DC)

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Cambridge University Press
04 January 2011
History of the Americas; Social & cultural history; Society & Social Sciences; Popular culture; Media studies
Mass Appeal describes the changing world of American popular culture from the first sound movies through the age of television. In short vignettes, the book reveals the career patterns of people who became big movie, TV, or radio stars. Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson symbolize the early stars of sound movies. Groucho Marx and Fred Astaire represent the movie stars of the 1930s, and Jack Benny stands in for the 1930s performers who achieved their success on radio. Katharine Hepburn, a stage and film star, illustrates the cultural trends of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Humphrey Bogart and Bob Hope serve as examples of performers who achieved great success during the Second World War. Walt Disney, Woody Allen, and Lucille Ball, among others, become the representative figures of the postwar world. Through these vignettes, the reader comes to understand the development of American mass media in the twentieth century.
By:   Edward D. Berkowitz (George Washington University Washington DC)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9780521717779
ISBN 10:   0521717779
Series:   Cambridge Essential Histories
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   04 January 2011
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Edward D. Berkowitz is Professor of History at George Washington University. He has held academic positions at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and administrative positions at Brandeis University and the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties. He is the author of six previous books, including Something Happened, his history of the seventies. He is co-author of four other books and editor of three, including A Documentary History of Social Security. Berkowitz has given invited lectures at the European University in Florence, at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and in the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. He has published more than one hundred articles in publications including the Journal of Social History, the Milbank Memorial Quarterly, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the San Jose Mercury News. His media work also includes appearances on Terry Gross's 'Fresh Air', C-SPAN's book channel, and the History Channel. In 2009, he was a principal commentator in the AP-TV's coverage of the Obama administration.

Reviews for Mass Appeal: The Formative Age of the Movies, Radio, and TV

With compelling detail and an accessible style, Berkowitz demonstrates how film, radio, and television, from their beginnings to the present, offered all-inclusiveness or, as the title puts it, mass appeal. Highly recommended. -Choice


  • Winner of A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2011
  • Winner of Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2011
  • Winner of Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2011.

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