Multinational, profit-driven, materialistic, power-hungry, religiously plural: America today—and three hundred years ago. Jon Butler’s panoramic view of the mainland American colonies after 1680 transforms our customary picture of pre-Revolutionary America; it reveals a strikingly “modern“ character that belies the eighteenth-century quaintness fixed in history. Stressing the middle and late decades (the hitherto “dark ages”) of the American colonial experience, Butler shows us vast revolutionary changes in a society that, for ninety years before 1776, was already becoming America.
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"We wrote Becoming America in and for a new century, inspired by recent shifts in historical scholarship and the interests and learning styles of a new generation of students. Today's students live in a world where cultural, technological, and environmental transformation are palpably experienced and keenly debated. Paralleling this reorientation, the topics of environmental change, religious ritual, mass communications, technological innovation, and popular entertainment have become central and compelling subjects of historians' research and teaching. Becoming America seamlessly weaves these fascinating dimensions of the past into the core narrative of American history to produce an account that we believe students will find exciting, memorable, and relevant"--
In 1950 Las Vegas saw a million tourists. In 1960 it attracted ten million. The city entered the fifties as a regional destination where prosperous postwar Americans could enjoy vices largely forbidden elsewhere, and it emerged in the sixties as a national hotspot, the glitzy resort city that lights up the American West today. Becoming America’s Playground chronicles the vice and the toil that gave Las Vegas its worldwide reputation in those transformative years. Las Vegas’s rise was no happy accident. After World War II, vacationing Americans traveled the country in record numbers, making tourism a top industry in such states as California and Florida. The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce saw its chance and developed a plan to capitalize on the town’s burgeoning reputation for leisure. Las Vegas pinned its hopes for the future on Americans’ need for escape. Transforming a vice city financed largely by the mob into a family vacation spot was not easy. Hotel and casino publicists closely monitored media representations of the city and took every opportunity to stage images of good, clean fun for the public—posing even the atomic bomb tests conducted just miles away as an attraction. The racism and sexism common in the rest of the nation in the era prevailed in Las Vegas too. The wild success of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack performances at the Sands Hotel in 1960 demonstrated the city’s slow progress toward equality. Women couldn’t work as dealers in Las Vegas until the 1970s, yet they found more opportunities for well-paying jobs there than many American women could find elsewhere. Gragg shows how a place like the Las Vegas Strip—with its glitz and vast wealth and its wildly public consumption of vice—rose to prominence in the 1950s, a decade of Cold War anxiety and civil rights conflict. Becoming America’s Playground brings this pivotal decade in Las Vegas into sharp focus for the first time.
Comprised mostly of memoirs with some fiction, this volume gathers selections from the writings of eighty-five immigrants from forty-five countries that illustrate the changing views of immigrants in the United States.
Celebrating two collectors' passion for Americana and the window it provides into the everyday beauty of the past Becoming America offers a multifaceted view of one of the foremost collections of 18th- and 19th-century American folk and decorative art from the rural Northeast. Essays by leading specialists discuss the culture of furniture workshops, exuberant painted decoration, techniques of sewing and quilting, and poignant stories about the families depicted in the portraits. The collection itself includes Shaker boxes, a beaded Iroquois hat, embroidered samplers, metalwork, scrimshaw, handwoven rugs, ceramics, and a weather vane. The majority of these works have never before been published. With lively essays and profuse illustrations, this handsome volume brings to life the aesthetic of early Americans living in the countryside and is an essential exploration of the period's taste and style.
The events of 9/11 had a profound impact on American society, but they had an even more lasting effect on Muslims living in the United States. Once practically invisible, they suddenly found themselves overexposed. By describing how Islam in America began as a strange cultural object and is gradually sinking into familiarity, Finding Mecca in America illuminates the growing relationship between Islam and American culture as Muslims find a homeland in America. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book is an up-close account of how Islam takes its American shape. In this book, Mucahit Bilici traces American Muslims’ progress from outsiders to natives and from immigrants to citizens. Drawing on the philosophies of Simmel and Heidegger, Bilici develops a novel sociological approach and offers insights into the civil rights activities of Muslim Americans, their increasing efforts at interfaith dialogue, and the recent phenomenon of Muslim ethnic comedy. Theoretically sophisticated, Finding Mecca in America is both a portrait of American Islam and a groundbreaking study of what it means to feel at home.
Far too many Americans, of all races, are unaware of the pivotal role that people of African descent have played in shaping the US and the world. Even less is known about the role of African peoples in the history of all humankind. Becoming American: The African-American Journey will open their eyes—and enlighten even the already knowledgeable. It features two side-by-side chronological timelines that uniquely contrast the major events and personalities in both African-American and Global/African Diasporan history—spanning from 4 million BCE to Barack Obama’s momentous presidential campaign. In addition, a carefully-chosen collection of key political, historical, cultural and literary texts, quotes, speeches, and songs document the impact of the black presence in American and world history.