Cover: Deliberate Speed: The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s, with a New Preface, from Harvard University PressCover: Deliberate Speed in PAPERBACK

Deliberate Speed

The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s, with a New Preface

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Product Details


$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674008731

Publication Date: 05/31/2002

Academic Trade

336 pages

6 x 9 inches


Lhamon’s main point is that in the ’50s high and vernacular culture penetrated each other in a big way and that, behind the decade’s vaunted illusion of 18-hole tranquility, both neighborhoods were jiving with experimentation. He manages the feat of fingering common impulses in the artistry of Ornette Coleman, Jackson Pollock, Chuck Berry and Thomas Pynchon without blurring the obvious distinctions among their works.Washington Post Book World

Ingenious...Lhamon’s brief analysis of mid-fifties rock ’n’ roll is one of the best in print… [Lhamon’s] readings sustain his claim that the decade of the 1950s was the heart of an intellectual watershed: on the one side, modernism, industrial society, a culture of production, the primacy of unity; on the other side, post-modernism, post-industrial society, a culture of consumption, the primacy of particularity.New England Quarterly

[Lhamon] not only recaptures the ’50’s—the people, both square and Beat, and the styles—but offers a wonderfully rich analysis of hesitant movements that sought to challenge what David Riesman once labeled ’the other-directed society’ and succeeded beyond the innovators’ wildest dreams. The oxymoron ’deliberate speed’ is a fitting title for this superb book about America in transition.—P. I. Rose, Choice

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