American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt by John Beckman PDF

By John Beckman

ISBN-10: 0307908186

ISBN-13: 9780307908186

Here is an lively and fantastically enticing paintings of cultural heritage that lays out America's unruly earlier via describing the ways that slicing free has consistently been, and nonetheless is, a vital a part of what it skill to be an American.

From the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, americans have defied their stodgy ideas and hierarchies with pranks, dances, stunts, and wild events, shaping the nationwide personality in profound and lasting methods. within the nation's past eras, revelers flouted Puritans, Patriots pranked Redcoats, slaves lampooned masters, and forty-niners bucked the saddles of an more and more uptight center classification. within the 20th century, fun-loving american citizens celebrated this background and driven it even extra: flappers "barney-mugged" in "petting pantries," Yippies showered the hot York inventory trade with greenback debts, and B-boys invented hip-hop in a warfare area within the Bronx.

This is the unbelievable and revelatory historical past that John Beckman recounts in American Fun. Tying jointly alluring tales of Americans' "pursuit of happiness"--and distinguishing among genuine, dicy enjoyable and the tasteless amusements that prepared the ground for Hollywood, Disneyland, and Xbox--Beckman redefines American tradition with a pleasant and provocative thesis.

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)

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Plenty was left over to trickle down to everyday Indonesians. As we emphasized in chapter 1, corrupt countries do not grow quickly in general, but Suharto’s Indonesia was an exception. Perhaps foreign donors like the IMF should think 41 CH A PTER TW O carefully before tinkering with an arrangement, albeit a corrupt one, that worked so effectively over a span of three decades. But how did a corrupt system grow so fast for so long? There are a few possible explanations. Maybe companies favored by Suharto, in addition to being well connected, were also well run.

First, we need a country with an active stock market to observe investors’ bets on the value of political ties. Few African countries have enough large companies to support wellfunctioning stock markets, so we can’t study them using this approach (we will measure corruption in Africa using an entirely different method in chapter 4, though). And even in somewhat richer countries like Malaysia, stock markets only came of age in the 1990s. We also need a good measure of companies’ political ties, so we need some way of tracking business-politics relationships.

Few highly corrupt countries have had 42 SU H A RTO , I N C. the economic successes of Suharto’s Indonesia. But it does muddy the waters a little on what we have to say about the benefits of rooting out corruption. Policymakers and foreign aid donors like to have simple prescriptions for action, but unfortunately the world is complicated and ambiguous. When does corruption still allow for economic miracles like Indonesia, and when does it bring about economic stagnation or decline, as seems to be the case in much of sub-Saharan Africa?

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American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt by John Beckman


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