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popular culture



  • The Devil Had Nothing to Do With It

    by Greil Marcus

    The music writer looks at three recent books on the Mississippi blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson, looking to pull his story out of the realm of myth. 



  • On Evangelical Masculinities (Review)

    Journalist Daniel José Camacho reviews Kristin Kobes Du Mez's book "Jesus and John Wayne" and considers the way that masculinities are expressed in non-white evangelical communities. 



  • Popular TV Characters Have Become a Part of the 2020 Campaign. Here’s Why

    by Oscar Winberg

    By the early 1970s, politics was moving to a focus on candidates over parties; New York Mayor John Lindsay sought help for his 1972 presidential bid from actor Carroll O'Connor, whose endorsement blurred the lines between the liberal O'Connor and his reactionary Archie Bunker character.



  • Go Live in Another Decade. I Recommend It.

    After 1960, much of history as many Americans experienced it — through popular culture on TV, on the radio and at the movies — is preserved and easily accessible online. With a few clicks around YouTube, history leaps into the present, often in ways that deepen and complicate the narrative.



  • Black Sabbath's Paranoid at 50: Potent Anthems of Working-Class Strife

    Music critics dismissed Black Sabbath's sludgy sound and alienated lyrics, but fans ensured that the band's second album would become one of the most influential rock records of all time. The songs' channeling of working-class pain and frustration, not their fascination with the occult, explain why.



  • How Latinos Can Win the Culture War

    by Elizabeth Méndez Berry and Mónica Ramírez

    Latino/a Americans can secure their place in America against racist and nativist attacks by demanding representation in the news and entertainment media. The media have been important sources of power in the past, but are still not representative of American demographics. 



  • How Wagner Shaped Hollywood

    Music historian Daniel Ira Goldmark counts more than a hundred Warner Bros. cartoons with Wagner on their soundtracks.



  • Settler Fantasies, Televised

    by Hannah Manshell

    The genre of house hunting and home improvement shows involve contestants claiming the prerogatives of owning property, which has historically been allotted to white people at the expense of the indigenous in several societies.