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All Shook Up Glenn Altschuler Essay Examples

1 Many things can have effect on one’s life in both positive and negative ways, but none like music. Music can take its listeners on journeys, impact cultures, and inspire people around a nation. Rock ‘n’ roll is a fantastic example of a genre of music that did all of those things. In All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America, Glenn C. Altschuler does a superb job of demonstrating how the new genre of music changed and effected American culture as well as how it has molded the nation today. The purpose of All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America, is obvious to any reader not just because of the title, but because of how it is written, as well. When reading the editor’s note, David Hackett Fischer and James M. McPherson explain to the readers that, All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America, is part of a series of books that aims to, “examine a large historical event or process that changed the course of American development.” 1Readers most likely understand at the beginning that Altschuler is going to discuss how the new genre of music impacted the nation, but they will probably be impressed by the great detail given by the author. He writes about how rock ‘n’ roll changed race, sexuality, generational conflict, and pop culture. In the first chapter, “All Shook Up: Popular Music and American Culture, 1945-1955” Altschuler gives an overarching view of how this style of music changed the culture of that time. The later chapters provide the reader with more detail as to how the evolving taste 2in music, changed the culture as well. The purpose of Glenn C. Altschuler’s book was accomplished well, but some parts were lacking connections. Parts of the chapters that described topics such as race or sexuality were too 1Glenn C. Altschuler, All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America (Pivotal Moments in American History)(New York: Oxford, 2003), xi. 2Ibid., 3.

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schema:reviewBody ""The birth of rock 'n roll ignited a firestorm of controversy--one critic called it 'musical riots put to a switchblade beat'--but if it generated much sound and fury, what, if anything, did it signify? As Glenn Altschuler reveals in All Shook Up, the rise of rock 'n roll--and the outraged reception to it--in fact can tell us a lot about the values of the United States in the 1950s, a decade that saw a great struggle for the control of popular culture. Altschuler shows, in particular, how rock's 'switchblade beat' opened up wide fissures in American society along the fault-lines of family, sexuality, and race. For instance, the birth of rock coincided with the Civil Rights movement and brought 'race music' into many white homes for the first time. Elvis freely credited blacks with originating the music he sang and some of the great early rockers were African American, most notably, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. In addition, rock celebrated romance and sex, rattled the reticent by pushing sexuality into the public arena, and mocked deferred gratification and the obsession with work of men in gray flannel suits. And it delighted in the separate world of the teenager and deepened the divide between the generations, helping teenagers differentiate themselves from others. Altschuler includes vivid biographical sketches of the great rock 'n rollers, including Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly--plus their white-bread doppelgangers such as Pat Boone. Rock 'n roll seemed to be everywhere during the decade, exhilarating, influential, and an outrage to those Americans intent on wishing away all forms of dissent and conflict. As vibrant as the music itself, All Shook Up reveals how rock 'n roll challenged and changed American culture and laid the foundation for the social upheaval of the sixties."--Publisher description." ;
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