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Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove: The Secret History of Nuclear War Films by Sean M. Maloney (2020)

The Cold War, with all of its threats and visions of mass destruction and apocalyptic scenarios appears far away these days. However, when the menace of nuclear weapons that possibly would be fired if wrong decisions were made by a few incompetent men in the military back in the 1960s, stories, novels and mostly movies […]

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

Projections of Passing: Postwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960 by N. Megan Kelley (2021)

The debatable term of “passing,” initially used to describe a basically 19th and 20th century strategy of African-Americans to pass for white (and avoid Jim Crow laws, absurd segregationist rules and social exclusion), in the mid- 1950s took on other forms and meanings. Actually, then it depicted new ways of passing/acting out or incorporating somebody […]

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960 by Stephanie Vander Wel (2020)

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music, 1930-1960 by Stephanie Vander Wel (2020)

Going back to the early days of medicine shows, vaudeville and traveling entertainment troupes, female performers there already had their regular part in the entertainment industry; and country music, or hillbilly music as it was first named, played a role in building up that reputation. For example, what in the 1940s was transported as “parodic […]

Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen 1950-1970: A History and Discography by Derrick Bang (2020)

Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen 1950-1970: A History and Discography by Derrick Bang (2020)

The brief period of American sound film until roughly the mid-1940s was dominated by soundtracks and extradiegetic audio based on mostly sweet string orchestras, allusions to classical compositions and ballads. Then, in the 1950s and 60s, soundtrack composers increasingly used popular music of the decades before for police/detective/spy action productions, which would be in large […]

Robots in American Popular Culture by Steve Carper (2019)

Robots in American Popular Culture by Steve Carper (2019)

The idea of building, commanding and using artificial creatures, based on mechanical components that would assist mankind doing anything from work, transportation or pleasure goes back to very early stories of creation such as the Gilgamesh epic. And mythology from ancient Greece and other regions. That idea also demonstrates man’s wish to become the creator […]

Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom by T. J. Mcdonald and L. Lanckman (eds.) (2019)

Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom by T. J. Mcdonald and L. Lanckman (eds.) (2019)

Ever since motion pictures became a crucial part of popular culture, certain consumers decided that simply watching those products and going to the theaters was not enough. Accordingly, editors of the earliest movie magazines quickly realized that gossip, behind-the-scenes talk and all sorts or rumors surrounding those new media stars obviously were  at least as […]

Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and … by Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette (eds.) (2019)

Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and … by Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette (eds.) (2019)

The latest work edited by Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette has the focus on pulp fiction published in English and connected to and influenced by the Counterculture and ideas of revolution. The emphasis is on “the long sixties,” meaning the aftermath of that truly revolutionary decade that was at work long into the 1970s, in […]