How the Arabian nights inspired the American dream, 1790-1935 / Susan Nance
- Nance, Susan
- Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- xi, 344 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
- Introduction. Playing Eastern -- 1. Capitalism and the Arabian Nights, 1790-1892 -- 2. Ex Oriente Lux: Playing Eastern for a Living, 1838-1875 -- 3. Wise Men of the East and the Market for American Fraternalism, 1850-1892 -- 4. Arab Athleticism and the Exoticization of the American Dream, 1870-1920 -- 5. Making the Familiar Strange: The Racial Politics of Eastern Exotic, 1893-1929 -- 6. Eastern Femininities for Modern Women, 1893-1930 -- 7. Turbans and Capitalism, 1893-1930 -- 8. Sign of Promise: African Americans and Eastern Personae in the Great Depression.
- "Over the course of 150 years, until the Greet Depression, generations of native- and foreign-born actors took on lavish North African, Middle Eastern, or Indian costumes, accents, and names. At circuses, theaters. fairs, and street parades and in printed materials, they "played Eastern" in ways that could be controversial or celebrated but always had to be financially viable. To document this lived experience, Nance draws on a wide array of primary sources, including newspapers and magazines, memoirs, travel narratives, and photographs, that reveal how a broad spectrum of Americans behaved as producers and consumers in a rapidly developing capitalist economy. In admiration of the Arabian Nights, people creatively reenacted Eastern life, but these performances were also demonstrations of Americans' own identities, Nance argues. In particular, the story of Aladdin, made suddenly rich by rubbing an old lamp, stood as an apt metaphor for how consumer capitalism might benefit each person. The leisure, abundance, and contentment that many imagined were typical of Eastern life were the same characteristics used to define "the American dream.""--BOOK JACKET.
- Arabian nights
- Orientalism—United States—History
- Performing arts—Social aspects—United States—History
- Popular culture—United States—History
- Capitalism—Social aspects—United States—History
- United States—Civilization—20th century
- Arab countries—Foreign public opinion, American
- United States—Civilization—Arab influences
- United States—Civilization—1783-1865
- United States—Economic conditions
- 9780807832745 (cloth : alk. paper)
080783274X (cloth : alk. paper)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages -334) and index.
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