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Revel with a Cause : Liberal Satire in Postwar America / Stephen E. Kercher.

Author/Creator:
Kercher, Stephen E. author., Author,
Publication:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [2010]
Format/Description:
Book
1 online resource (572 p.) : 48 halftones
Subjects:
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Liberalism in literature.
Liberalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Satire, American -- History and criticism.
Language:
In English.
System Details:
Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
text file PDF
Summary:
We live in a time much like the postwar era. A time of arch political conservatism and vast social conformity. A time in which our nation's leaders question and challenge the patriotism of those who oppose their policies. But before there was Jon Stewart, Al Franken, or Bill Maher, there were Mort Sahl, Stan Freberg, and Lenny Bruce-liberal satirists who, through their wry and scabrous comedic routines, waged war against the political ironies, contradictions, and hypocrisies of their times. Revel with a Cause is their story. Stephen Kercher here provides the first comprehensive look at the satiric humor that flourished in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. Focusing on an impressive range of comedy-not just standup comedians of the day but also satirical publications like MAD magazine, improvisational theater groups such asSecond City, the motion picture Dr. Strangelove, and TV shows like That Was the Week That Was-Kercher reminds us that the postwar era saw varieties of comic expression that were more challenging and nonconformist than we commonly remember. His history of these comedic luminaries shows that for a sizeable audience of educated, middle-class Americans who shared such liberal views, the period's satire was a crucial mode of cultural dissent. For such individuals, satire was a vehicle through which concerns over the suppression of civil liberties, Cold War foreign policies, blind social conformity, and our heated racial crisis could be productively addressed. A vibrant and probing look at some of the most influential comedy of mid-twentieth-century America, Revel with a Cause belongs on the short list of essential books for anyone interested in the relationship between American politics and popular culture.
Contents:
Frontmatter
Contents
Acknowledgments
INTRODUCTION. Liberal Satire in Postwar America
PART ONE. THE POSITIVE USES OF HUMOR
CHAPTER ONE. Bill Mauldin and the Politics of Postwar American Satire
CHAPTER TWO. "We Shall Meet the Enemy": Herbert Block, Robert Osborn, Walt Kelly, and Liberal Cartoonists' "Weapon of Wit"
CHAPTER THREE. Comic Revenge: Parodic Revelry and "Sick" Humor in the 1950s Satiric Underground
CHAPTER FOUR. "Truth Grinning in a Solemn, Canting World": Liberal Satire's Masculine, "Sociologically Oriented and Psychically Adjusted" Critique
CHAPTER FIVE. Spontaneous Irony: The Second City, the Premise, and Early Sixties Satiric Cabaret and Revue
CHAPTER SIX. "We Hope You Like Us, Jack": Liberal Political Satire, 1958-63
CHAPTER SEVEN. "Are There Any Groups Here I Haven't Offended Yet?": Liberal Satire Takes a Stand
CHAPTER EIGHT. "Well-Aimed Ridicule": Satirizing American Race Relations
CHAPTER NINE. Mocking Dr. Strangelove; or, How American Satirists Flayed the Cold War, the Bomb, and American Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia
CHAPTER TEN. "Sophisticated Daring" and Political Cowardice: Television Satire and NBC's That Was the Week That Was
CHAPTER ELEVEN. Satire That Would "Gag a Goat": Crossing the Line with Paul Krassner and Lenny Bruce
Conclusion: Liberal Satire's Last Laughs
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Notes:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 24. Apr 2020)
Contributor:
De Gruyter.
Contained In:
De Gruyter University Press Library.
ISBN:
9780226431659
OCLC:
748357240
Publisher Number:
10.7208/9780226431659 doi
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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