The United States of America in Soviet Ideology and Propaganda, 1945-1959
Author: Rósa Magnúsdóttir
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Enemy Number One tells the story of the Soviet cultural and propaganda apparatus and its efforts to control information about the United States in the postwar landscape. Beginning with the 1945 meeting of American and Soviet troops on the Elbe, this period saw cultural relations develop in close connection to oppression as the Soviet authorities attempted to contain and appropriate images of the United States. Rósa Magnúsdóttir analyzes two official narratives about the USSR's "enemy number one" --Stalin's anti-American campaign and Khrushchev's policy of peaceful coexistence--and shows how each relied on the legacy of the wartime alliance in their approach. Stalin used the wartime experience to spread fear of a renewed war, while Khrushchev used the wartime alliance as proof that the two superpowers could work together. Drawing from extensive archival resources, Magnúsdóttir brings to life the propaganda warriors and ideological chiefs of the early Cold War period in the Soviet Union, revealing their confusion and insecurities as they attempted to navigate the uncertain world of late Stalin and early Khrushchev cultural bureaucracy. She also demonstrates how concerned Soviet authorities were by their people's presumed interest in the United States, resorting to monitoring and even repression-behavior indicative of the inferiority complex of the Soviet project as it related to the outside world.
Though it is hard to imagine what America will be like now that Richard Pryor has passed away, it would be harder to imagine life if there had never been a Pryor, teaching us to laugh, and by laughing, to see. In the 1960s, when many black performers were trying to open the color barrier, comedian Richard Pryor was slamming into it with a vengeance. Employing the language and attitude of the black ghetto, he assaulted racism in comic routines that were both outrageous and screamingly funny. If I Stop, I'll Die examines the comedian's life and humor which not only reveals details of Pryor's troubled but briliant career, but also places these events within the context that shaped Pryor's outlook, personality, and opportunities. It captures the irony that pervaded his life and career: how he could present brilliantly universal material from such a militantly black perspective; how the powers of Hollywood could force him to portray on film the very racial caricatures that he lampooned on stage; how he could publicly flaunt his private exploits, with embellished comedic versions of his drug use, sexual adventures and bursts of violence, while fiercely protecting the real facts behind such episodes.
Traces the creation and history of Gershwin's classic opera, from the writing of DuBose Heyward's book to Gershwin's adaptation of the story into musical form and the opera's success on stage, in film, and around the world
“Steve Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound is a fascinating treatment and remarkable analysis of America’s greatest playwright in song. His marvelous text goes a long way toward placing Stephen Sondheim among the towering artists of the late twentieth century!” —Cornel West, Princeton University “Sondheim’s career and music have never been so skillfully dissected, examined, and put in context. With its focus on his work as composer, this book is surprising and welcome.” —Theodore S. Chapin, President and Executive Director, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization “. . . an intriguing ‘biography’ of the songwriter’s style. . . . Swayne is to be congratulated for taking the study of this unique composer/lyricist into hitherto unnavigated waters.” —Stage Directions “The research is voluminous, as are the artistry and perceptiveness. Swayne has lived richly within the world of Sondheim’s music.” —Richard Crawford, author of America’s Musical Life: A History “Amid the ever-more-crowded bookshelf of writings on Sondheim, Swayne’s analysis of Sondheim’s development as a composer stands up as a unique and worthy study. . . . For the Sondheim aficionados, there are new ideas and new information, and for others, Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound will provide an intriguing introduction into the mind of arguably the greatest and most influential living Broadway composer.” —talkinbroadway.com “What a fascinating book, full of insights large and small. An impressive analysis and summary of Sondheim’s many sources of inspiration. All fans of the composer and lovers of Broadway in general will treasure and frequently refer to Swayne’s work.” —Tom Riis, Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Stephen Sondheim has made it clear that he considers himself a “playwright in song.” How he arrived at this unique appellation is the subject of How Sondheim Found His Sound—an absorbing study of the multitudinous influences on Sondheim’s work. Taking Sondheim’s own comments and music as a starting point, author Steve Swayne offers a biography of the artist’s style, pulling aside the curtain on Sondheim’s creative universe to reveal the many influences—from classical music to theater to film—that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century.