All Shook Up Chapter Summary

Improved Essays
In the book All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America, by Glenn Altschuler, touches on the development of rock ‘n’ roll between 1945 and 1955 cautiously observing that it is a “social construction not a musical conception (Page 27).” This definition of rock ‘n’ roll gives him space to focus on arguable topics much as exploration, and, in some cases, combining of differing styles, cultures, and social values.
In the book the first three chapters focus on those argued areas by looking at generation differences, race, and sexuality. In his discussion of race, he obscures the traditional view that white artists did damage to African American artists when he says that in some a way it helped lift them by giving them more radio time and publicity.
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Altschuler argues that, “rock ‘n’ roll remained a highly visible and contested arena for the struggle over racial identity, and cultural and economic empowerment in the United States (Page 36).” In terms of race, in the book he talks about how rock ‘n’ roll also influenced sexuality during 1950s. Putting the rock rise in the same context of the American Biologist Alfred Kinsey’s findings on sexual behavior between women and men. He talks how, sexuality was already a touchy and uncomfortable topic for people and the central point of American anxiety. In a way rock ‘n’ roll worsened the feelings that people felt with its scandalous lyrics, crazy dancing, and race mingling. This is where censorship came in to place and helped quiet those fears and pushed rock into safer spaces. Throughout a lot of these third chapters Altschuler suggests that rock became an apparatus of “containment…control (Page 58)” by allowing youth …show more content…
One of the chapters on generational difference focused more on economics and consumerism and failed to also address racial and class differences. Also, the fifth chapter on the culture wars felt somewhat out of place and a disconnect from this chapter and the rest of the book. The Alan Freed-Dick Clark contrast and the ASCAP-BMI debates were quite interesting and did showed the government responding to the controversy and concern, but seemed to leave out a few of the themes discussed earlier in the book and could have used more background. The author does well, when discussing personalities and individuals, and providing specific examples of songs and lyrics that caused some disagreements. Although important, the debate on industry specific information slow down the flow of the book and take away from arguments since they are mostly not contextualized with musical genres or other industries. However, the difficulty in balancing chapters on government regulations and economics with the captivating personalities and popular culture creations is recognized. Probably, the contrast between the two would make them that much more difficult to write

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