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Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture (American Culture) [Hardcover]

George Lipsitz


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Book Description

1 Mar 1990 American Culture (Book 4)
"Time Passages is a far-reaching-and perhaps permanent-contribution to cultural studies." San Francisco Review of Books

"This high take on 'low' culture examines the complex web of popular narratives that arise from and create the American collective memory. Studying the period from the end of World War II to the present, Lipsitz . . . inventively explores the popular canon, turning variously to television, rock music, film, novels, and the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans." Publishers Weekly

"What really separates Lipsitz from earlier critics of popular culture is that he got his rock diploma from the high-school gym, not the Frankfurt School. Lipsitz knows the color of the labels, the B-sides, the cover versions." Boston Phoenix Literary Section

"In a series of provocative and finely crafted essays on film, rock 'n' roll, early television, popular novels, New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, and other aspects of popular culture, Lipsitz argues that popular culture has been, and remains, an arena of hope, possibility, criticism, and even resistance for millions of ordinary people." American Studies

George Lipsitz is professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he serves as director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute. He is the author of many books, including Time Passages (see right), The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics (1998), and Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism, and the Poetics of Place (1997).

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 323 pages
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (1 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816618054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816618057
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,808,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Passages is a great read...! 15 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I hope you don't take too much stock in the prior "review." Lipsitz's Time Passages is a great introduction to thinking critically about different forms of popular culture (TV, film, music, and so on). Lipsitz links a diverse range of pop cultural forms with the larger worlds around us. That takes a lot of doing, especially since we take for granted most of what we consume passively. Most of us figure that entertainment doesn't hold any significant meaning beyond our own individual enjoyment. Lipsitz reminds us that what we often take for granted is almost never taken for granted by corporate elites who spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to create loyalties, tastes and styles emptied of substantive content. The book also reminds us that pop culture is a place where ordinary folks have also tried to say important things about the world as they see it and sometimes as how they'd like to see it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in Popular Culture Studies 17 Oct 2010
By Joe Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've taught the history of popular culture at the graduate and undergraduate levels for over a decade, and Lipsitz' book is a solid classic in the field, in print for almost 20 years and still not out of date. If you are looking for books that reassure the reader that equality, freedom, and liberty are the "whole story" of US history, I would recommend other books. If you want "interesting facts about popular culture," this may not be what you want either. But if you are seeking to understand why popular culture my worth your attention, this is an outstanding place to start. Highly recommended!
6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much theory, not enough history 26 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My main problem with this book is that the author makes sweeping statements and claims about the role of various forms of popular culture in various eras without providing any historical data or close analysis of any popular culture from those times. Instead, he promisciously cites a very broad range of theorists to back up his otherwise groundless assertions.
6 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst 31 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This might be the worst book I have ever read. If you're a minority and want to read propaganda stating that the white man is oppressing you (with no real facts-just jargon) and is the reason for all of the mishaps in your life, then this is the book for you.
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