Fun and Games in Twentieth-Century America

A Historical Guide to Leisure

by Ralph G. Giordano


This book describes how political, economic, and cultural events influenced America's leisure habits throughout the 20th century.

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Cover image for Fun and Games in Twentieth-Century America

September 2003


Pages 328
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/Sports, Recreation, and Leisure
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    Hardcover: £50.00/54,00€/A$83.00

Throughout the 20th century, America underwent rapid change, from horses and buggies, through two world wars, and finally to the arrival of the Internet. But Americans have always needed time for relaxation and recreation. This book describes how political, economic, and cultural events influenced the history and development of the leisure pursuits of Americans of different races and ethnic backgrounds during the 20th century. Readers learn about the opening of Disney World and the ever-popular auto vacation, as well as the laws, acts, and organizations that allowed leisure time and activities to become a permanent fixture in American culture. Other topics include the significance of the Model T Ford, the development of the 40-hour work week, and the lure of reality television shows.

Sections include
The Progressive Era and Reformers
The War to End All Wars
Black Death to Black Tuesday
The Great Depression and the New Deal
The Good War and the Aftermath
Television, Teenagers, and Rock 'n Roll
The Jet Age and Turbulence
Yuppies, Star Wars, and MTV
Generation 'X,' the Internet, and Virtual Reality

Organized chronologically, this book is ideal for high school students, college students, and the general public. It identifies the most popular games, sports, and hobbies of social groups ranging from the working class to the wealthy, along with their importance in American history. Over 51 photos illustrate the different leisure pursuits in their time periods.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionThe Progressive Era and Reformers: 1900-1914The War to End All Wars: 1914-1918Black Death to Black Tuesday: 1919-1929 "And All the Fun in Between"The Great Depression and the New Deal: 1929-1939The Good War and the Aftermath: 1940-1946Television, Teenagers, and Rock 'n Roll: 1947-1964The Jet Age and Turbulence: 1964-1979Yuppies, Star Wars, and MTV: 1980-1992Generation 'X,' the Internet, and Virtual Reality: 1992-2000BibliographyAbout the Author



Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers.—Choice

This book is useful for all levels of learning, in both the classroom and in libraries....a highly recommended resource for public and school libraries and for college and university collections. ^IFun and Games^R can also serve well as an accessible text for introductory college courses on recreation and leisure in America.—Reference & User Services Quarterly

Arranged chronologically, this book covers an interesting aspect of American history. High school teachers will find in it a fine overview of how all aspects of American culture and history interrelate. Recommended.—Library Media Connection

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