Writing Jazz: Race, Nationalism, and Modern Culture in the

This study examines how early writers of jazz criticism and literature as well as “jazz” performers and composers associated the music directly with questions about identity and with historical developments like industrialization. Going beyond the study of melody, harmony and rhythm, this book’s interdisciplinary approach takes seriously the cultural beliefs about jazz that inspired interracial contact, moralistic panic, bohemian slumming, visions of American democracy, and much more. Detailed textual analysis of fiction, nonfiction, film and musical performance illustrates the complexity of these cultural beliefs in the 1920s and also shows their survival to the present day.

Writing Jazz: Race, Nationalism, and Modern Culture in the 1920s (Studies in American Popular History and Culture)