Rock Music in American Culture

The Sounds of Revolution, 2d ed.

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About the Book

From its roots in the black and white “under classes” through its clash with the broader culture to its multifaceted incarnation today, rock and roll has fostered and reflected a genuine cultural revolution that has gone on to influence the world.
This critical work investigates rock music from a philosophical perspective, an approach rarely seen in the literature. Topics include a definition of rock music and a suggested typology; an examination of rock on radio and in television and film; and a depiction of what is to come. Of particular interest is how rock’s shifting mores have mirrored the complex changes experienced by American society as it has undergone almost continuous turbulence.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Robert G. Pielke is a retired professor of philosophy and the author of numerous scholarly articles. He lives in Claremont, California.

Bibliographic Details

Robert G. Pielke
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4865-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction: America’s Cultural Revolution      5

Part One. Music and Culture      9

1. Rock Music and Contemporary American Culture      11

2. What Is Rock Music?      15

3. A Suggested Typology      23

Part Two. Medium and Message      63

4. Radio: The Creation of a New Community      67

5. Records: The Newest Testament      80

6. Film: A Creative Tension      92

7. Television: Bringing It All Back Home      105

8. The Internet: You Say You Want a Web-o-lution      120

Part Three. Revolution and Revelation      135

9. Elvis and the Negation of the Fifties      142

10. The Beatles and the Affirmation of the Sixties      155

11. Dormancy and the Re-creation of the Interim      174

12. The Counter-Reaction and Defense      193

13. The Re-actualization and Rebirth      223

Epilogue: The Shape of Things to Come      232

Chapter Notes      243

Bibliography      246

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“an exhaustive look at the way rock music has shaped public attitudes…a worthy addiction”—Bookviews; “a uniquely philosophical perspective on rock and roll…an earnest, intimate exploration of the phenomena by someone who has lived through it…Pielke’s writing confidently—and successfully—strides the line between academic rigour and wider accessibility…three weeks spent reading this book from cover to cover has returned my mind to many of the values imbued by my earliest, most intimate, experiences of music. For the first time in years, I’ve been listening to Beatles tracks again, hearing them resound clearly in my head, feeling their rainbow of sensations spill out and over my body”—The Uncustomary Book Review; “Pielke explores rock’s influence and relationship with American’s cultural past, present, and future”—Reference & Research Book News.