"...merits the attention of students and scholars in theater, anthropology, law, and sociology, as well as music....Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty." Choice
"In this original and subtly written work, Cockrell demonstrates the value of a focused analysis of minstrlsy in a particular time and place--an approach that stands to enhance the study of all periods of minstrel history. Demons of Disorder offers an important corrective to postmodernist scholarship in asserting that understanding cultural meanings requires not simply theoretical speculation but careful examination of the historical record." Howard L. Sacks, American Music
"...required reading for anyone wishing to grasp the depth of meaning and the range of opinion on blackface minstrelsy." Brian Thompson, Notes
"This book, which unpacks so much about the phenomenon clearly and provocatively, deserves our close attention." Ethnomusicology
"...a highly creative study of blackface minstrelsy, adds to an already impressive literature on the subject." Journal of Social History
Carnival, charivari, mumming plays, peasant festivals, and even early versions of the Santa Claus mythall of these forms of entertainment influenced and shaped blackface minstrelsy in the first half of the nineteenth century. In his fascinating study Demons of Disorder, musicologist Dale Cockrell studies issues of race and class by analyzing their cultural expressions, and investigates the roots of still-remembered songs such as "Jim Crow," "Zip Coon," and "Dan Tucker." The first book on the blackface tradition written by a leading musicologist, Demons of Disorder is an important achievement in music history and culture.