Saturday, November 25, 2023

"The Jazz Problem"

New from the State University of New York Press: The Jazz Problem: Education and the Battle for Morality during the Jazz Age by Jacob W. Hardesty.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Jazz Problem shows how high schools and colleges were the primary sites of this generational debate around jazz, the century's first cultural war. Schools were crucial sites of dispute between the worldviews of the late nineteenth century and the emerging modern world, one synonymous with jazz. As a major site of character formation where students came of age, high schools and colleges were the places where jazz was simultaneously celebrated and denigrated. Educators saw jazz as inseparable from other vices, such as smoking, drinking, "immodest dress" (for women), and some degree of sexual activity. Yet young people felt jazz was their music and relished the sense of generational autonomy that came with their affinity for jazz. This book offers a fresh and compelling look at the jazz controversy and how it shaped not only America's musical life but our broader cultural identity.
--Marshal Zeringue