From Publishers Weekly
Chairman of the National Endowment of Arts from 1998 to 2001, Ivey brings an informed perspective to a growing chorus of alarm over "big media, abetted by government, running roughshod over public interest." An enthusiast for mainstream American culture and the vernacular performing arts (he directed the Country Music Foundation from 1971 to 1998), Ivey demonstrates how the promise of early 20th century mass media-when film, radio and TV produced an unprecedented mass audience and "enabled America to discover its cultural mainstream"-is being stifled in the era of digital technology. A major mechanism for this is copyright law, which has become less a tool to protect creative enterprise than "to protect certain industries against competition"; as corporations snap up the rights to works of art, ordinary citizens are losing easy access to their national heritage. Ivey's answer is an official U.S. Department of Cultural Affairs (as well as a "Cultural Bill of Rights") committed to the idea that the arts are "key to a high quality of life for all Americans." With cogent consideration of the stakes for all involved, and some interesting glimpses behind the scenes at the NEA, Ivey has produced a comprehensive treatment of an important subject.
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“Cogent consideration of the stakes for all involved. . . Interesting glimpses behind the scenes at the NEA. . . A comprehensive treatment.”
(Pw: Nonfiction (2)
“Ivey is well equipped to lead a fresh discussion about the role of creativity in a healthy democracy.”
“Explore(s) and define(s) a co-ordinated vision for art, culture and expression in American life.”
(Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes)
“Reads like a manifest on cultural happiness and quality of life through access to the arts. . . . Recommended.”
“A gift. . . . Timely and important.”
(Journal Of Folklore Research