Going Out

Going Out : The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements

3.8 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is a social history of 20th-century show business and the new American public that assembled in the city's pleasure places, parks, theatres, nickledeons, world's fair midways and dance halls. The new amusement centres welcomed women, men, children, native-born and immigrant, rich, poor and middling. Only African Americans were excluded or segregated in the audience, though they were overrepresented in parodic form on stage. This stigmatization of the African American, David Nasaw argues, was the glue that cemented an otherwise disparate audience, muting social distinctions among "whites" and creating a common national culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 32 halftones, 2 line illustrations
  • 0674356225
  • 9780674356221

Review quote

David Nasaw's fine history of public amusements in urban America is such a welcome contribution to contemporary cultural debate...Nasaw unearths fascinating details about everything from the early history of the movies to pre-World War I dance crazes; and he raises fundamental questions about the web of connections joining commercial play, public space and cultural cohesion. -- Jackson Lears New York Times Book Review An effervescent social history. The New Yorker No other book brings together so much material about so many different urban entertainment forms--and connects their history with a few simple and powerful overarching themes. -- Warren Goldstein The Nationshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments 1. Introduction 2. Dollar Theaters, Concert Saloons, and Dime Museums 3. "Something for Everybody" at the Vaudeville Theater 4. "The Best Smelling Crowd in the World" 5. The "Indecent" Others 6. The City as Playground: The World's Fair Midways 7. "The Summer Show" 8. The National Game 9. "Laughter and Liberty Galore": Early Twentieth-Century Dance Halls, Ballrooms, and Cabarets 10. Talking and Singing Machines, Parlors, and Peep Shows 11. "The Surest Immediate Money-Maker Ever Known" 12. The First Picture Shows 13. "The Pernicious 'Moving Picture' Abomination" 14. Combination Shows, Stars, and Features 15. Waving the Flag 16. Palaces for the People 17. Decline and Fall List of Abbreviations Notes Indexshow more

About David Nasaw

David Nasaw is Professor of History and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.show more

Rating details

60 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 20% (12)
4 48% (29)
3 27% (16)
2 2% (1)
1 3% (2)
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