Imperialism and Popular Culture

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John M. MacKenzie
Manchester University Press, 1986 - History - 264 pages
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Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this more true than in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. When they were being entertained or educated the British basked in their imperial glory and developed a powerful notion of their own superiority. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late Victorian and Edwardian times--in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education, and the iconography of popular art. Several chapters look beyond the first world war when the most popular media, cinema and broadcasting, continued to convey an essentially late nineteenth-century world view, while government agencies like the Empire Marketing Board sought to convince the public of the economic value of empire. Youth organizations, which had propagated imperialist and militarist attitudes before the war, struggled to adapt to the new internationalist climate.

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About the author (1986)

John MacKenzie is Emeritus Professor of Imperial History, Lancaster University and holds Honorary Professorships at Aberdeen, St Andrews and Stirling, as well as an Honorary Fellowship at Edinburgh.

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