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On-line resources from the
American Studies Resources Centre at LJMU

Liverpool John Moores University

 

BAAS Paperbacks
 

BAAS Paperbacks are published by Edinburgh University Press in association with the British Association for American Studies. This innovative series is destined to become an indispensible collection in American Studies. Each volume tackles an important area and is written by an accepted academic expert within the discipline. Books selected for the series are clearly written introductions designed to offer students definitive short surveys of key topics in the field.

The series editors are Professor Philip Davies, De Montfort University (pjd@dmu.ac.uk) and Professor George McKay, University of Central Lancashire (g.mckay@uclan.ac.uk). They are happy to discuss proposals and suggestions for the series.

 

Visit BAAS’s website

Visit Edinburgh University Press’s website on www.eup.ed.ac.uk

 

Titles in the BAAS Paperbacks series so far include:

 

 

 

John Killick, University of Leeds

The United States and European Reconstruction 1945-1960

ISBN 1 85331 178 2

The impact of American intervention in Europe after World War II is a key aspect of economic history. The effects of this impact are still open to debate. The Marshall Plan has traditionally been seen as a decisive turning-point in European economic and political history, but this is now being called into question. Would Europe have revived spontaneously after 1945? Did ‘American dollars save the world’ in 1947? Was US influence the underlying reason for the general drift away from socialism and the move towards European federalism in the late 1940s and early 1950s? If the Marshall Plan—in conjunction with NATO—created a coherent and proseprous western bloc, was this critical for the outcome of the Cold War? Did American policy in some way cause the substantial convergence since 1945 in transatlantic productivity, incomes and lifestyles, or was this convergence—and relative American economic decline—bound to happen anyway? These are important questions, to which this careful analysis provides some new and accessible answers.

 

Jude Davies and Carol R. Smith, King Alfred’s College, Winchester

Gender, Ethnicity and Sexuality in Contemporary American Film

ISBN 1 85331 174 X

Hollywood has devoted big budgets and established stars to films about controversial issues in the last ten years. Idnetities previously considered marginal have come into prominence on the big screen. Jude Davies and Carol Smith look at the issues raised by these developments, bring together debates on identity politics with film studies, and launch an innovative theorisation of the cinematic representation of identity. Movies from Forrest Gump to Philadelphia, from Malcolm X to Falling Down, have engaged explicitly with notions of multiculturalism and identity politics. This book is concerned pre-eminently with the meanings put into circulation by these mainstram films and audiences’ readings of them. It provides a brief and accessible introduction to issues such as arguments over positive and negative images and the relationship between cultural representation and political power.

 

Stephen F. Mills, Univerity of Keele

The American Landscape ISBN 1 85331 179 0

American landscapes are some of the best-known images of any kind; we recognise Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Manhattan skyline and the streets of San Francisco in a thousand advertisements nd television shows. But how have these places come to be as they are, and why are some places familiar while others are quite unknown? This book introduces the reader to the changing face of the American environment, tracing the way in which the present array of forests and farms, parks and highways, cities and suburbs has come about, and how these changes have been thought about, painted and turned into movie sets. The author concludes that the American landscape is what Americans have made of their surroundings. The book contains a detailed section of recommended further reading.

 

Robert Williams, University of Durham

Political Scandals in the USA ISBN 1 85331 189 8

From Watergate to Whitewater, US politics has had its fair share of high-profile debacles. The misdeeds of politicians often assume more importance than their achievements: they can damage or destroy careers and bring down political parties. Watergate forced the only presidential resignation in American history, the Iran-Contra affair exposed the limitations of President Reagan, and the Whitewater scandal and other allegations have periodically paralysed the White House and embarrassed President Clinton. This book focuses on presidential and congressional scandals of the last 25 years and offers the first sustained explanation of the reasons for them and their often dramatic consequences. Readers of this exciting and accessible book will come to understand how the American political system really works.

 

Deborah L. Madsen, South Bank University

American Exceptionalism ISBN 1 85331 209 6

This book provides an accessible yet comprehensive historical account of one of the most important concepts underlying modern theories of American cultural identity. Professor Madsen charts the contribution of exceptionalism to the evolution of the United States as an ideological and geographical entity from 1620 to the present day. She expains how this sense of spiritual and political destiny has shaped American culture and how it has promoted exciting counter arguments from Native American and Chicano perspectives and in the contemporary writings of authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Toni Morrison.

 

Fiona Venn, University of Essex

The New Deal ISBN 1 85331 222 3

This textbook offers a chronological introduction to the New Deal which incorporates material on events and developments outside as well as within Washington DC and on popular reaction to the policies. Reference is made to President Roosevelt and his role but the main emphasis is upon policy formation and implementation and the context in which the New Deal evolved. Fiona Venn draws comparisons between American and European responses to the Depression and provides explanations of American institutions and traditions as appropriate. A detailed chronology of events and an up-to-date guide to further reading make this an invaluable source of information for those approaching this key element of 20-th century American history for the first time.

 

Bryan LeBeau, Creighton University, Nebraska

Religion in America to 1865 ISBN 1 85331 233 9

An introduction to the history of religion in America from colonization to the Civil War. The principal themes are growth, diversity and adaptation. Coverage includes Native American Religion and Religion in the Colonial Period, the Era of the American Revolution, the Early Republic, the Age of Reform and the Civil War. The topics are covered chronologically, folowing the time line of the secular history of America, allowing connections to be made between religious and secular history. The range—from Native American religion to African-American religion, calling at all mainstreeam points on the way, and tying the whole into the cultural and political history of the nation—is remarkable, and will make for stimulating, as well as informative, reading.

 

Neil Campbell, University of Derby

The Cultures of the American New West ISBN 0 7486 1176 2

An introductory survey of the important debates about key issues in the cultural history of the contemporary American West. Neil Campbell introduces the ways in which the West has been represented and interpreted within American culture, myth and ideology, especially questioning the concept of the ‘New West’. In so doing he looks at the way contemporary theories such as feminism, multiculturalism and environmentalism can be used to revise long-held notions of the West. The book looks in turn at the ways the West has been represented in landscapes and environments, art and photography (including black and white photographs), film, and literature. As well as functioning as a survey text, the book is original in its combining of ideas, texts and materials rarely brought together, and in its employment of the tools of cultural studies and interdisciplinary practice.

 

Peter Townsend, University of Huddersfield

Jazz in American Culture ISBN 1 85331 204 5

This book looks at jazz both as a music and as a culture within the wider American context, and aims to open up the subject to the non-specialist. It examines the social and institututional structures that have underpinned the music at particular stages in its history, from the 1930s through to the present, and considers its place as a component of the entertainment industry. Among the musicians introduced are Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Lester Young. Peter Townsend’s distinctive approach to his subject includes a consideration of representations of jazz in other art forms, including film and literary texts. He also introduces the work of jazz-influenced painters like Jackson Pollock, and discusses the significance of photography in jazz.

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