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The Making of American Audiences

The Making of American Audiences
From Stage to Television, 1750–1990

$51.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communication

  • Date Published: April 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521664837

$ 51.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • In The Making of American Audiences, Richard Butsch provides a comprehensive survey of American entertainment audiences from the Colonial period to the present. Providing coverage of theater, opera, vaudeville, minstrelsy, movies, radio and television, he examines the evolution of audience practices as each genre supplanted another as the primary popular entertainment. Based on original historical research, this volume exposes how audiences made themselves through their practices--how they asserted control over their own entertainments and their own behavior.

    • A first history of audiences
    • It provides deeper understanding of categories used to describe audiences
    • It provides thorough historical research to replace the mythic pasts typically invoked in debates about audiences
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The subject is fascinating and so are some of Mr. Butsch's ideas..." Edward Rothstein, New York Times

    "This is certainly a scholarly work, but its appealing style will draw a wide range of readers with an interest in the many facets of entertainment." Carol J. Binkowski, Library Journal

    "Recommended for upper-division and graduate students and faculty." Choice

    "One of the book's strengths is its breath...This ambitious book will be of interest to historians seeking to place audiences in a broad context...Most readers will be rewarded by his ability to organize diverse strands of interdisciplinary literature, neatly arranged in a sizable bibliography, into a coheasive history of the complex and changing nature of leisure audiences." Journal of American History

    "The subject is fascinating and so are some of Butsch's ideas." Rocky Mountain News

    "...Meticulously researched and lucidly presented, The Making of American Audiences is, to date, the definitive history of its subject matter." Canadian Journal of Communication

    "Butsch brings substantial research and intelligence to his broad task." American Studies 2001

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521664837
    • length: 468 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: participative public, passive private?
    1. Colonial theater, privileged audiences
    2. Drama in early Republican audiences
    3. The B'hoys in Jacksonian theaters
    4. Knowledge and the decline of audience sovereignty
    5. Matinee ladies: re-gendering theater audiences
    6. Blackface, whiteface
    7. Variety, liquor and lust
    8. Vaudeville, incorporated
    9. 'Legitimate' and 'illegitimate' theater around the turn of the century
    10. The celluloid stage: Nickelodeon audiences
    11. Storefronts to theaters: seeking the middle class
    12. Voices from the ether: early radio listening
    13. Radio cabinets and network chains
    14. Rural radio: 'we are seldom lonely anymore'
    15. Fears and dreams: public discourses about radio
    16. The electronic cyclops: fifties television
    17. A TV in every home: television 'effects'
    18. Home video: viewer autonomy?
    19. Conclusion: from effects to resistance and beyond
    Appendix: availability, affordability, admission price
    Selected bibliography

  • Author

    Richard Butsch, Rider University, New Jersey

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