The Cultural Front by Michael Denning
The Laboring of American Culture in the Twenieth Century (Haymarket Series)

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As garment workers, longshoremen, autoworkers, sharecroppers and clerks took to the streets, striking and organizing unions in the midst of the Depression, artists, writers and filmmakers joined the insurgent social movement by creating a cultural front. Disney cartoonists walked picket lines, and Billie Holiday sand ‘Strange Fruit’ at the left-wing cabaret, Café Society. Duke Ellington produced a radical musical, Jump for Joy, New York garment workers staged the legendary Broadway revue Pins and Needles, and Orson Welles and his Mercury players took their labor operas and anti-fascist Shakespeare to Hollywood and made Citizen Kane.

A major reassessment of US cultural history, The Cultural Front is a vivid mural of this extraordinary upheaval which reshaped American culture in the twentieth century.

About Michael Denning

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Michael Denning teaches American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Mechanic Accents, Cover Stories, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, and The Cultural Front.
Published February 17, 1997 by Verso. 576 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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In his introduction, Denning quotes Sean Wilentz's pronouncement: To this day, when I hear the words Pop Front I think of atrocious art. But were art and literature from the 1930s really that bad

Feb 02 1997 | Read Full Review of The Cultural Front: The Labor...

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Looking back at this much neglected period in American art and letters, the author, a professor of American studies at Yale, bucks received academic opinion and cogently argues that Popular Front artistsDplaywrights, novelists, painters, songwriters and singersDaffected American culture far more ...

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