“The Music and History of Our Times”: Summer Issue of History Now

NEW YORK, NY (July 17, 2012)—Throughout history, music has been a catalog of the thoughts and struggles of society. A reflection of social and cultural change, political choices, mass protest, or support for government policies, music has defined decades and generations. In the thirty-second issue of History Now, “The Music and History of Our Times,” leading scholars of history and music take us through our recent past, from the 1940s to the present day. Each of the seven essays in the new History Now analyzes the role and meaning of music in a particular decade, looking at the relationship between song and key historical events and movements. Video interview and music streaming features make this History Now not just for readers but also, appropriately enough, for viewers and listeners.

Feature essays include:

  • The Forties and the Music of World War II by Elihu Rose
  • “Fun, Fun Rock ’n’ Roll High School” by Glenn Altschuler and Rob Summers
  • “People Get Ready”: Music and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s by Brian Ward
  • The Sixties and Protest Music by Kerry Candaele
  • Women and the Music Industry in the 1970s by Elizabeth L. Wollman
  • Globalizing Protest in the 1980s: Musicians Collaborate to Change the World by Douglas Egerton and Leigh Fought
  • Pop Music and the Spatialization of Race in the 1990s by Mark Anthony Neal
  • 9/11 and Springsteen by Craig Werner

Accompanying Craig Werner’s essay, 9/11 and Springsteen, this issue includes a video interview with Marc Dolan, who discusses his new book, Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ’n’ Roll (W.W. Norton, 2012).

“The Music and History of Our Times” also includes embeddeds playlist from Grooveshark, an online music streaming service, which allow readers to listen to music selections from each decade and essay. By visiting the Grooveshark site, readers can further create, share, and save their own playlists.

Edited by eminent historian Carol Berkin, History Now is an indispensable online journal for history teachers and students. Essays are accompanied by suggested print and online readings. An integral part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s promotion of the study and love of American history, all issues of History Now are available at www.gilderlehrman.org/historynow.


About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all fifty states, including a website that features the 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, www.gilderlehrman.org. Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

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