20 Th Century

New PDF release: Contemporary American Literature: (1945-Present) (Background

By Erik V. R. Rangno

ISBN-10: 0816056714

ISBN-13: 9780816056712

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Additional resources for Contemporary American Literature: (1945-Present) (Background to American Literature)

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If President Kennedy’s youth and charisma signaled a change in the national outlook, his assassination in November 1963 marked its abrupt end. The remainder of the 1960s did little to calm most Americans’ anxieties. , and Robert Kennedy followed in rapid succession. At the same time, under the leadership of President Lyndon B. Johnson, American soldiers were being sent off to Vietnam, more than 50,000 of whom would not return. In response to these events, the youth of America rebelled against what they called “the establishment,” the adult world of business, politics, and the military.

In the liner notes to 1963’s Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, writer Nat Hentoff quotes Dylan as saying that “‘Hard Rain’ is a desperate kind of song,” then adds, “It was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when those who allowed themselves to think of the impossible results of the Kennedy -Khrushchev confrontation were chilled by the imminence of oblivion. ‘Every line in it,’ says Dylan, ‘is actually the start of a whole song. ’” The song was not simply about nuclear war, however. Dylan also wanted to criticize the way that public fears are created and manipulated by the media.

Hall argued that globalization has in part allowed for new possibilities in our understanding of ethnicity. Rather than being something ahistorical and fixed, Hall argued that ethnicity should instead be seen as something temporal and changing. According to this concept, one’s identity is a matter of choice—a diverse, political concept, rather than a fixed certitude imposed from the outside. One important result of the new thinking about ethnicity has been the greater consideration paid to people of mixed race.

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Contemporary American Literature: (1945-Present) (Background to American Literature) by Erik V. R. Rangno


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