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Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music Hardcover – November 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0226701974 ISBN-10: 0226701972 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226701972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226701974
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,138,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Radano’s work traces how modern race thinking and black music marked intertwined phenomena, investing black performance and a variety of genres with essential properties, myths of origin, and social power in ways that buttressed as well as eroded racial hierarchy in American society. . . . Radano’s clear, incisive modeling of ‘music’ as a performative, textual, and social phenomenon that must be interrogated historically rather than essentialized is particularly welcome.”
(Derek W. Vaillant American Historical Review)

“Radanmo provides tremendous insight into the contours of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century discourses around black music in all their subtlety and ideological effect. Through his examination of the resonances of black music, he offers an inventive and valuable method for understanding how black musical meaning is forged at the nexus of sonic productions, discursive representations, and social transformations. Moreover, by asking difficult questions about the relationship of black music scholarship to legacies of racism, this promises to be an influential book that is sure to be at the center of many productive debates for years to come.”
(Eric Porter Journal of American History)

“What Radano does do, with dialectical brilliance and telling historical precision, is make a series of interventions in the received narrative of black musical ‘becoming’ on American soil.”
(Adam Gussow American Literature)

"Radano offers a provocative reconceptualization of African American music history in terms that up the theoretical ante for the field as a whole. . . . His painstakingly thorough examination of primary source materials situated within his sharply critical surveys of relevant scholarly literature, provide thought-provoking support for the maverick historiographical positions he proposes."
(A. Scott Currie Ethnomusicology)

From the Inside Flap

What is black music? For some it is a unique expression of the African-American experience, its soulful vocals and stirring rhythms forged in the fires of black resistance in response to centuries of oppression. But as Ronald Radano argues in this bracing work, the whole idea of black music has a much longer and more complicated history-one that speaks as much of musical and racial integration as it does of separation.

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is essential in the field of Black Music. A long first theoretical chapter leads to four chapters that cover four periods : before the American Revolution, before the Cvil War, after the Civil war and the present. The general method is a mix of anthropological and historical approaches essentially founded on documents and their treatment. The next element I will quote in this short introduction is that Radano, except when dealing with what African music was in Africa at the time of the slave trade, only considers what he calls the United States, without even mentioning that they were a small section of North America up to the buying of Louisiana from Napoleon I. He does not study, nor hardly evokes the position of the Blacks in other colonies than the thirteen original English colonies and the subsequent construction of the United States without entering the complex historical process that led to the expansion of the original territory. Apart from Herder and travelogues that he quotes several times, his approach of Black music and rhythm hardly goes beyond the seventeenth century and the « American » context : no large approach of rhythm in music that is necessary from at least since the gregorian revolution, no approach of European music as a very lively field of creation and exchange, this music being reduced to what he calls the « elite » European music and seen as homogeneous. Finally he seems to always conceive the Blacks in the US and the Whites in the world as being very homogeneous raciallly defined groups. The book is thus packed with information but we can wonder if he really gets to a reassessment of W.E.B.Read more ›
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Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music
This item: Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music
Price: $94.00
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