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All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America (Pivotal Moments in American History) Paperback – December 9, 2004
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"One of the first to do rock-and-roll the significant service of locating it within the cultural and political maelstrom it helped to create. Altschuler does so with a good ear for the music and a deft hand, making this account a pleasure to read and ponder. He is not a flashy writer, but so much the better for his storytelling, which shows intelligence and narrative discipline.... Altschuler surpasses the admittedly sparsely populated field in the nuanced way he places the music within the conflicts--racial, sexual, commercial, and political--that it variously helped to encourage, exacerbate, and (occasionally) ameliorate. Altschuler tells a story of liberation and fear, of inspiration and exploitation, of repeated attempts to homogenize a form of cultural expression that sprang from somewhere so authentic in Western youth culture that it proved bigger and more powerful than any combination of its myriad opponents."--Eric Alterman, Atlantic Monthly
"A well thought out, well researched work, peppered with evocative archival photos and full of terse, sharp comment and considerable feel for the music and its performers."--Toronto Globe and Mail
"In All Shook Up, Glenn C. Altschuler vividly demonstrates that Rock 'n' Roll--as music, lyric, and gesture--provides the guide, the Ariadne's thread, through the labyrinth of social, cultural, generational, and sexual upheaval that was post-World War II America."--Kevin Starr, author of Americans and the California Dream
"While incorporating extensive research and quotes from the most astute rock music critics, past and present, he manages to craft prose that will suit a general audience."--Library Journal
"A book rich with shocking and humorous anecdotes.... Also offers insight into the often complicated racial and legal issues surrounding rock 'n' roll in the 1950s."--AP Weekly
"A soulful, scholarly, and thoroughly fascinating examination of the transforming power of rock and roll in American culture. Brandishing the chops of a loving fan and a scrupulous historian, Altschuler nimbly tracks the rock-propelled revolutions in manners and morality that first rumbled forth from the 1950s, a decade that seems ever more the epoch of Elvis not Eisenhower. His is a finely tuned, perfectly pitched appreciation of the rhythms of a music that became not only a soundtrack but a heartbeat to American life."--Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University
"Includes enough tantalizing tales along with thumbnail sketches of the forefathers and key moments from the annals of pioneer rock to keep the narrative lively and flowing.... This PhD is such an enthusiastic fan, my '50s generation awards him our ultimate accolade: he's obviously a 'Good Rockin' Doc.'"--Miami Herald
"A fascinating and important look at a pivotal decade in American history.... Put on those old 45s and curl up for an enlightening and eminently readable story."--PW Daily
"A remarkably thorough short history of the birth of rock and roll and its cultural contexts. Glenn Altschuler manages to weave the stories of musicians and record producers, cultural critics and legislators, psychologists and sociologists, businessmen and teenaged consumers into a lively, astute narrative of cultural change. The result is not just an especially informative history of rock, but an important cultural history of the 'long' 1950s."--Tom Lutz, author of Crying: A Natural and Cultural History of Tears and American Nervousness, 1903: An Anecdotal History
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Top Customer Reviews
Oxford University Press is to be commended along with the editors of this series, Pivotal Moments in American History, David Hackett Fischer and James M. McPherson for living true to their words of historical interpretation and reporting "they were the results of decisions and actions by people who had opportunities to choose and to act otherwise".Read more ›
But back in the age of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis, racial, generational, and political attitudes were all addressed, questioned, and formed as a result of the culture of rock `n' roll. Technological advances in radios and music equipment also bolstered the role of musicians in the lives of millions--especially the young generations born into post-WWII affluence and leisure. The kids wanted to shake, rattle, and roll while the parents wanted to protect their kids from those wants. Sexuality was launched in the public sphere as music icons like T-Bone Walker and Elvis shook, rattled, and rolled an impressionable crowd. As a result, a generation gap had formed six strings wide. But while family units felt the strain of musical expression, a bond was formed between white and black teenagers sharing in a common identity. Talent took precedence over race and all the while, African Americans could boast of creating rock `n' roll to begin with.
The Cold War brought with it an anxiety that found an escape in the full-bodied rhythms of a Fender guitar and harmonization of a couple of doo-woppers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Before reading All Shook Up, one should note that the book focuses almost exclusively on the 1950s, when rock ‘n’ roll went mainstream. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Paul Kesler
A highly enjoyable and insightful book for a relatively brief analysis. As part of that generation, it was highly informative and meaningful.Published 11 months ago by Jimbo
Amazing book. Very informational. Must have for music lovers.Published 19 months ago by Caroline Romanelli
I never used this in my history class and I regret wasting my money on this book that I never opened.Published on June 12, 2014 by Megan
The book is very scrambled and poorly written. Historical data is through the roof but is not put in an orderly fashion which makes it hard to read. Read morePublished on March 23, 2014 by mark zambelli