Hip: The History
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What made this book much richer than, say, Lewis MacAdams' also worthwhile Birth of the Cool is the power of Le ...more
Conventional wisdom says you can't define what is hip, but you know it if you see it. But John Leland makes a pretty valiant effort, outlining the history of successive generations of hipness from the 19th century counterculturalists like Twain and Whitman, through Hemingway's Lost Generation, the days of jazz and bebop, the 50's beatniks, 70' ...more
Hip, it turns out, is whatever John Leland says it is, and the definition drifts from page to page. The book's real purpose, beyond giving the author an uninterrupted platform for 356 pages, is to show that whatever hip may be, John Leland is hipper th ...more
What makes Pitchfork distinctly not hip, as far as I can tell, is that it is painfully deliberate and self-conscious. Self-conscious not in a hipster fashion, which is all about being hyper-aware and yet indulging in a Keats ...more
In Hip: The History, John Leland paints an American tale of the birth and development of hip. His journey through the generations begins with the slave trade and ends right here -- on the Net. This historical account is detailed enough to be taught in any college sociology/American history class but hip enough for students to enjoy. The anecdotes Leland provides drag yo ...more
In Hip: A History, Leland goes far beyond our standard definitions of "hip," defined by various American writers, artists, and musicians. Critics agree that Leland's done his homework__what's more fun than listening to jazz, reading Beat generation literature, or watching old movies? But in his exploration of hipness, Leland leaves a little something to be desired. The book is eclectic, but not always choosy in its examples or satisfying in its analysis. While fun, Hip contains glib, overly deta...more
Still, he does a gr ...more
My favorite chapter is the one about gender and it looks at the different feminisms p ...more
This historian likens early Rap stars to the the angry & talented Beat generation musicians of the 1940s-50s. Also cites some rap lyrics and explains the poetry. I enjoyed it.
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