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Author Rubin, Joan Shelley, 1947-

Title The making of middle/brow culture / Joan Shelley Rubin
Published Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1992]
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Description 1 online resource (xx, 416 pages) : illustrations
Contents Self, culture, and self-culture in America -- The "higher journalism" realigned : Stuart Pratt Sherman, Irita Van Doren, and Books -- Why do you disappoint yourself? : the early history of the Book-of-the-Month Club -- Classics and commercials : John Erskine and "great books" -- Merchant of light : Will Durant and the vogue of the "outline" -- Information, please! : book programs on commercial radio
Summary The proliferation of book clubs, reading groups, "outline" volumes, and new forms of book reviewing in the first half of the twentieth century influenced the tastes and pastimes of millions of Americans. By examining both the form and content of this popularization of literature, Joan Rubin recaptures here an activity that brought the humanities to the general public on an unprecedented scale. In doing so, she provides the first comprehensive analysis of the rise of American middlebrow culture and the values encompassed by it. Exploring the democratization of culture in a consumer society, Rubin concentrates on five important expressions of the middlebrow: the establishment of book clubs, including the founding of the Book-of-the-Month Club; the beginnings of "great books" programs; the creation ofthe New York Herald Tribune's book-review section; the popularity of such works as Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy; and the emergence of literary radio programs. Rubin also investigates the lives and expectations of the individuals who shaped these middlebrow enterprises--such figures as Stuart Pratt Sherman, Irita Van Doren, Henry Seidel Canby, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, John Erskine, William Lyon Phelps, Alexander Woollcott, and Clifton Fadiman. By demonstrating that an emphasis on character, liberal learning, and aesthetic training at least partly animated many of these writers, she revises the conventional view that the genteel tradition in American letters had vanished by World War I. Moreover, as she pursues the significance of these cultural intermediaries who connected elites and the masses by interpreting ideas to the public, Rubin forces a reconsideration of the boundary between high culture and popular sensibility
Notes Spine title: The making of middlebrow culture
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 373-403) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Print version record
Subject Art appreciation -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Books and reading -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Literature -- Appreciation -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Middle class -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Popular culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Self-culture -- History -- 20th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585027986 (electronic bk.)
0807864269 (e-book)
9780585027982 (electronic bk.)
9780807864265 (e-book)
Other Titles Making of middlebrow culture