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ADVENTURES OF AMOS 'N' ANDY: A Social History of an American Phenomenon (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. September 1992

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  • Taschenbuch: 322 Seiten
  • Verlag: Free Press; Auflage: Reprint (21. September 1992)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0029095034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029095034
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,9 x 15,9 x 23,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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"Compelling... a stunningly objective look at the history of the program and how it affected, and was affected by, the culture at large....Remarkable." - Boston Globe; "Amos 'n' Andy was an instant success, and went on to become both a national institution and a subject of racial controversy; Mr. Ely's sensitive and scholarly work shows us why." - New Yorker; "An engrossing, perhaps definitive, account of one of the most fascinating episodes in popular entertainment." - Henry Louis Gates Jr.; "Engaging....[Ely] does a brilliant job of sorting out what is in many ways a hellishly complex story....With exemplary scholarship and well-reasoned eloquence, he advances us a long way toward understanding, while also vividly revealing some unsettling aspects of our culture that shouldn't be forgotten." - San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle; "Painfully funny... ironic." - Maureen Corrigan, "Fresh Air," National Public Radio -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


In 1930, 40 million Americans indulged in a national obsession nightly - they eagerly tuned to "Amos 'n' Andy", a radio serial created and acted by two white men about the adventures of two Southern blacks making a new life in a Northern city. Today, "Amos 'n' Andy" survives in the American language mainly as a synonym for racist stereotyping. But that verdict may not wholly explain why both black and white Americans made "Amos 'n' Andy" the most popular radio show of all time. Ely explores the appeal of the famed duo as he narrates a tale of the shifting and ambiguous colour line in 20th-century America. While listeners could find ample reinforcement in the show for their prejudices, white liberals and many Afro-Americans saw it as a warm, humane portrait of black life. Ely recreates the engaging genius of "Amos 'n' Andy" through the heyday of radio, follows the transformation from white actors to blacks on television, and explores the audiences' changing response in the wake of a rising tide of black consciousness.

His "Amos 'n' Andy" reveals a society less and less able to defend the most obvious flaw in the democratic order - the colour line - yet still unwilling to erase it once and for all.


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Von Ein Kunde am 30. Oktober 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
Prof. Ely schafft es mühelos eine der erfolgreichsten Afro-Amerikanischen Radio- und Fehrnsehsendungen zu beschreiben. Darüber hinaus gelingt es ihm, die Sendung und ihre Wirkung in die historischen Zusammenhänge der Afro-Amerikanischen Geschichte in diesem Jahrhundert näher zu beleuchten. So erwähnen bleibt noch sein ungemein einfühlsamer Umgang mit der Englischen Sprache!
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Amazon.com: 8 Rezensionen
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Thoughtful and Well-Written 13. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
As the title indicates Ely's work is frankly a work of social history, not a performance biography, and is less interested in exploring "Amos 'n' Andy's" significant impact on the broadcasting medium than in viewing it as window into mid-20th Century American racial attitudes. Analysis of the program's content focuses on that perspective to the exclusion of all others, and detailed examination of the original scripts is confined primarily to the first two years of "Amos 'n' Andy."
Ely therefore fails to discuss in any detail the evolution of the characters and their relationships beyond 1929 -- and this is perhaps the book's greatest flaw, given that the characterizations and the dramatic sophistication of the program evolved substantially between 1929 and the mid-1930s It's unfortunate that Ely shortchanges this period of the program's history, as it in fact coincided with the peak of the program's popularity, and in my view an understanding of the evolution of the characters during the 1929-35 period is essential to an understanding of the series' appeal. (I have, in fact, read all of the scripts for the first decade of the series as part of my own research into "Amos 'n' Andy's" history.)
While Ely occasionally draws conclusions regarding the program's content that are contradicted by a detailed reading of the original 1930s scripts, and sometimes tends to over-interpret in his examination of public reaction to the program, in general his account is balanced and thoughtful, and his research into the African-American response to "Amos 'n' Andy" presents the definitive study of this aspect of the series.
Ely also deserves much praise for avoiding the self-indulgent deconstructionist jargon which tends to dominate current academic studies of popular culture -- his book is a rare example of an academic work which is both scholarly and extremely well-written. I'm very pleased to see the book is back in print.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Thorough, balanced, fair, insightful 17. Oktober 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
There are few phrases in the English language as divisive as "Amos 'n' Andy." It is frequently a euphamism for humor at its most racist and simplistic. Yet could a program based on little more than a handful of stereotypes be able to thrive on radio for more than 30 years? This book answers that question by putting "Amos 'n' Andy" into perspective, through the evolution of the program, its roots in the minstrel shows, and its context within its own time. Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, the white creators of the program, are portrayed quite fairly in this book, and their motives are also presented in a fair way. Their goal was not to offend, though inevitably they did, but rather to entertain. This book shows how the core characters were portrayed in their own circle, the mythical Mystic Knights of the Sea lodge, and how they were portrayed beyond that inner circle, as the characters would intermingle with other blacks, and also whites. Also worth reading is the efforts by the Pittsburgh Courier and a few other black newspapers to boycott the show as early as 1931. More interesting, is how those attempts stalled, only to regain momentum 20 years later, with the advent of the television version. The phenomenon of "Amos 'n' Andy" is more complex than it would seem, as it tells us more about American society and racial relations than perhaps any othe program ever. This book is not just about "Amos 'n' Andy," but rather about ourselves. And for that, it should be a must-read. I was able to finish this book in two days it was so engrossing.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Post-Minstrel Pre-Cosby 25. Januar 2001
Von Arnie Tracey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Writing about race, specifically about the black race, in American entertainment is a dicey business--at best.
Then, not unlike a latter-day Alexis de Tocqueville or even Gunnar Myrdal, along comes Melvin Patrick Ely. Mr. Ely has written a well researched, passionately dispassionate analysis of the origins of the entertainment industry's racial miasma.
He takes us back to minstrelsy; on to the advent of radio before networks; then into the networks' formative years when an iconic show ruled the ether: "Amos'n'Andy". He informs us that even in 1930 blacks vigorously, if ineffectually, protested the show.
Mr. Ely has deconstructed more than a few of the racial myths that even today swirl around the "Amos 'n' Andy" radio program. He has eloquently put into context the television episodes and the NAACP's reaction to them.
He is objective and he is clear. Be forewarned, however, that this is not a coffee table book. It is written at 2nd to 3rd year undergraduate level, ie the book is not unlike a history text book, and all that that implies.
But it is, above all, lucid. And highly recommended.
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A Thoughtful and Balanced Presentation 10. August 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
At a basic level, this book is a detailed, well-researched history of America's longest running (1929-1960 on both radio and television) comedy show. Ely does a fine job of describing the factors that led to the show's great popularity and the successful efforts of its creators, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, to maintain that popularity.

At a more sophisticated level, however, the book provides an intimate view of one of the great political events of this century, the American Civil Rights movement. Because Amos `N Andy was the only nationally popular series prior to 1960 featuring black characters, and because its creators and principal actors were both white, the show repeatedly drew both praise and criticism from the press and various organizations seeking to promote their own political agendas.

Ely describes in detail how Gosden and Correll went to great lengths to keep the show from being viewed as racist, yet in the long run they failed. As he points out,! that failure may have caused the major networks to shy away from shows featuring black performers and delay their introduction into television for another 20 years.

Having listened to Amos `N Andy on the radio as a child and subsequently watched it on TV, I like many other white Americans, was dumbfounded when the NAACP decided to attack it for being racist. For me at least, Gosden and Correll succeeded in their objective of establishing their characters as human types, not racial types. Sapphire was the spitting image of my best friend's mother, and Algonquin J. Calhoun came to typify every crooked lawyer (Is that redundant?) I later had the misfortune to meet.

Unfortunately, Ely touches only peripherally on the black sitcoms of the 80s and 90s (e.g., "The Jeffersons" and "In Living Color") which I (and many other Americans) personally found to be racist.

Despite dealing with a highly emotional topic, Ely has produced a lucid, objective and thought-provoking work! . His shortcomings consist of his failure to take into consideration the effects of the other great events of the period (the Great Depression, World War II, etc.) and his seeming assumption that all Americans cared about the Civil Rights movement. In fact, I think that more people (both black and white) cared more about putting food on the table and raising their families well.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
History, well-written is more intriguing than fiction 6. Oktober 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
History, well-researched and engagingly written, is as fascinating as the greatest fiction, if not more so. Melvin Ely combines a professor's concern for factualness with thorough, ground-breaking research and a novelist's way with narrative into an unfailingly entertaining work that is also of great and lasting academic, social and cultural importance. Ely has delivered a fascinating show business yarn with absorbing insight into human nature, sometimes noble, often naive, and occasionally downright repugnant. While not afraid to add an edge of attitude or a clear point of view when he chooses, the author still eschews easy answers and the predictable pedantics and prejudice of an ideologue of any political persuasion. With subtle surety, and never a trace of condescension, Ely ultimately shows us ourselves--good, bad and ugly--in an absorbing saga of American life and culture.
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