Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotation

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

In conceiving, researching, and writing this project, I have benefited from the support, advice, encouragement, and friendship of numerous institutions and individuals, without whom this work would not have been possible. Financial support for this project was provided by two sabbaticals from Louisiana State University (LSU), ...

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Introduction: The Search for Modern America

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pp. 1-13

In the 1920s Americans faced a perplexing world. While many Americans still believed in the Victorian values of modesty, hard work, and respect for tradition, status, and place, others defiantly broke from convention in their work and personal lives and in their actions and words. ...

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1. Seeking Mastery: The Machine Age and the Idealized Past

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pp. 14-51

In their attempts to understand the changes occurring around them, Americans sought mastery over their world by controlling, illuminating, utilizing, or limiting the people and things around them. By using new technology and manufacturing practices, Henry Ford and the rest of the automobile industry sought control over both the machines of industry and the consumers buying their products, ...

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2. Seeking Equality: Feminism and Flood Waters

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pp. 52-92

In searching for ways to cope with the changes resulting from a consumer-driven, industrial economy, Americans debated not only what was good and bad about those changes but also the effect they were having on different groups of people. Two groups who highlight the changes of the 1920s are women and African Americans, ...

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3. Seeking Notoriety: The Infamous and the Famous

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pp. 93-136

Herbert Hoover’s faith in publicity and the media as a bureaucratic tool stemmed from his belief in the value of expert management of both business and public affairs. Used wisely, publicity experts could inform the public about the information and services available from the government without being intrusive or obstructive. ...

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4. Seeking Respectability: Modern Media and Traditional Values

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pp. 137-189

Just as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey each brought a measure of respectability to professional sports, as well as earning large fortunes for themselves and the industry, other industries also sought respectability as a means of self-promotion. Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford brought respectability to the film industry and to Hollywood through the cultivation of a wholesome lifestyle. ...

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Conclusion: The Search for American Culture

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pp. 190-200

In 1927, with the publication of America Comes of Age: A French Analysis, economist André Siegfried presented his take on life in the United States after a six-month tour of the country “talking to people of every class, creed, and colour, and measuring . . . the subtle influences that are today shaping the destiny of the American nation.”1 ...

Notes

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pp. 201-218

Bibliography

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pp. 219-232

Index

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pp. 233-244

Back Cover

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