Mystic Chords of Memory
"Illustrated with hundreds of well-chosen anecdotes and minute observations . . . Kammen is a demon researcher who seems to have mined his nuggets from the entire corpus of American cultural history . . . insightful and sardonic."
—Washington Post Book World
In this ground-breaking, panoramic work of American cultural history, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Machine That Would Go of Itself examines a central paradox of our national identity How did "the land of the future" acquire a past? And to what extent has our collective memory of that past—as embodied in our traditions—have been distorted, or even manufactured? Ranging from John Adams to Ronald Reagan, from the origins of Independence Day celebrations to the controversies surrounding the Vietnam War Memorial, from the Daughters of the American Revolution to immigrant associations, and filled with incisive analyses of such phenonema as Americana and its collectors, "historic" villages and Disneyland, Mystic Chords of Memory is a brilliant, immensely readable, and enormously important book.
"Fascinating . . . a subtle and teeming narrative . . . masterly." —Time
"This is a big, ambitious book, and Kammen pulls it off admirably. . . . [He] brings a prodigious mind and much scholarly rigor to his task . . . an importnat book—and a revealing look at how Americans look at themselves."
About Michael KammenSee more books from this Author
An ambitious, wonderfully detailed investigation into the shifting perceptions of American cultural identity from Pulitzer Prize-winner (People of Paradox, 1973) Kammen (American History and Culture/Cornell; A Machine That Would Go of Itself, 1986, etc.).May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Mystic Chords of Memory: The ...
From Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, America's leaders have invoked a mythic past, and one of the merits of Cornell historian Kammen's massive study is to show that appeals to collective memory can be a meaNov 04 1991 | Read Full Review of Mystic Chords of Memory: The ...
In 1942, during the intermission in a Metropolitan Opera broadcast performance, Walt Disney commented that Dopey is as well qualified as I am to discuss culture in America, adding that even the woFeb 01 1993 | Read Full Review of Mystic Chords of Memory: The ...