Levine, Lawrence W. () Highbrow/Lowbrow: The. Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Cambridge,. MA: Harvard University Press. Every once in a . Highbrow/Lowbrow has ratings and 28 reviews. Jacques said: Levine brings to light the history behind the current cultural hierarchy that exists in America. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in. America (review) According to Levine, in nineteenth-century America Shakespeare was not a.

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Dec 06, Sarah Stella rated it liked it.

You have to ask yourself about your own ideas of culture. He sees highborw current debate about university curricula and the canon as one between those “who ‘know’ what culture is and what it is not” levkne those who “believe that worthy, enduring culture is not the possession of highborw single group or genre or period” p.

Levine] The people and the President: Feb 21, Courtney rated it it was amazing. They saw museums and libraries as repositories of privileged knowledge, not platforms for democratizing knowledge. It jumps back and forth a little too much in time and subject, but the gradual collapse of an inter-class, unified American culture detailed here is almost heartbreaking. Highgrow a former student, I can say he was better in person. But I have to give the book happy credit for providing me with this: Lectures in American Studies.

View freely available titles: Jun 16, sologdin rated it it was ok Shelves: Oct 16, Fred R rated it really liked it. Want to Read saving…. Lawrence William Levine was a celebrated American historian. This desire for social control prompted the creation of new levinr and new codes of conduct that kept the broader public at a distance from opera, Shakespeare, and fine art.

Jan 24, Michelle rated it liked it Shelves: Aug 25, Jonas rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: He argues that such hierarchies permit the few the educated to enter, while excluding the masses. You will have to be patient and read all the way to the end of the book if you want the author’s complete hughbrow to these questions, but the trip is worth it.


He seems to for some reason think this is all the elite’s fault, for snobbishly turning up their noses at the masses in an attempt to maintain their privilege. PaperbackFirst paperback editionpages.

Jul 22, Dan Gorman rated it liked it.


Levine assumes that the distinction between “highbrow” and “lowbrow” is culturally-defined, and this is assuredly true to an extent.

Had the book simply focused on nineteenth-century highhbrow, it would have been worth reading, but the “Epilogue” offers additional controversy.

May 05, Heidi rated it really liked it Shelves: The wrath of the gallery gods? Open Preview See a Problem? Fascinating reading for anyone who wants to understand historical patterns of reception and their influence on contemporary life.

This book was interesting in that it addressed culture in America in the 19th century and the segregation into ‘high culture’ and ‘low culture’. Contact Contact Us Help. America’s Conversation with FDR. Levnie explain Shakespeare’s elevation, Levine focuses on the process by which audiences were segregated into separate spaces where they encountered different types of entertainment, a process that during the last decades of the century divorced Shakespeare highbrw everyday culture.

After all, the author deals largely levind the advent of 20th century, which marked the emergence of jazz music.

Future plans will include the Shakespeare festival in Ashland this summer and an opera. With varied examples, Levine extends his analysis to other art forms: The consequences of fiddling with Shakespeare?

If you are only going to read one historical analysis of American culture, read this one, if lowvrow for the humorous anecdotes about popular audiences in the 19th century.

Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America by Lawrence W. Levine

Patrician critics, patrons, museum curators, and businessmen, who feared immigration and demographic change, championed sophisticated, edifying art, in contrast to popular amusements. This book is good food for thought. Mar 13, Kate rated it liked it. A must lowbeow for all jazz music lovers.

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In response to the growing cultural gulf between upper and lower class, the American elite which meant, particularly after the Civil War, the Northeastern elite pursued a two-pronged strategy of mass uplift and you’ll recognize this one from Baltzell’s masterpiece cloistered retreat.

A model of the engaged scholar throughout his life, Levine lived both his scholarship and his politics. Jan 26, Niall rated it liked it.

May 04, Jean rated it it was amazing. I learned a lot from this book, but it has two major flaws.

Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America

This book speaks to the evolution of the audience from participatory with a voice to a silent, passive audience. Cultural space was more sharply defined, less flexible than it had been.

This is pretty typical s cultural war stuff. In the highbtow nineteenth century, Shakespeare productions pevine looked like vaudeville, and opera was frequently translated into English with altered endings! According to Levine, in nineteenth-century America Shakespeare was not a literary classic accessible only to the educated, but part of a “shared culture” in which scenes from Shakespeare shared the stage with “magicians, dancers, singers, acrobats, minstrels, and comics” p.

Wagner and Beethoven, for instance, were definitely what in cinema would be called an auteur they were very precise about lownrow their work was being performed, had huge and temperamental egos, and were very critical of their audiences.

Levine also makes a strong case for rethinking our tendency to see rejection of these hierarchies as anti-intellectualism.