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At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jewish immigrants upended Protestant control of vaudeville and the silent film industry. This book rejects the commonly held explanations for this shift: Jewish commercial acumen and their desire to assimilate. Instead, this book argues that the "pleasure principle"-a positive view of bodily pleasures and sexuality that Jewish immigrants held --gave rise to the role of Jewish influence on popular culture, an influence still felt today.
After discussing the pivotal ascendancy of Jews in vaudeville and silent films, Cherry explores the important role that Jewish performers and middlemen played in the evolution of popular culture throughout the century, from stage and the big screen to radio, television, and the music industry. He concludes with a broader discussion of Jewish values that helps explain the continued outsized role that Jews continue to play in American popular culture.
Buy Why the Jews?: How Jewish Values Transformed Twentieth Century American Pop Culture by Robert Cherry from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781538143124
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