During the early 1970s, the nation’s turbulence was keenly reflected in Austin’s kaleidoscopic cultural movements, particularly in the city’s progressive country music scene. Capturing a pivotal chapter in American social history, Progressive Country maps the conflicted iconography of “the Texan” during the ’70s and its impact on the cultural politics of subsequent decades.
This richly textured tour spans the notion of the “cosmic cowboy,” the intellectual history of University of Texas folklore and historiography programs, and the complicated political history of late-twentieth-century Texas. Jason Mellard analyzes the complex relationship between Anglo-Texan masculinity and regional and national identities, drawing on cultural studies, American studies, and political science to trace the implications and representations of the multi-faceted personas that shaped the face of powerful social justice movements. From the death of Lyndon Johnson to Willie Nelson’s picnics, from the United Farm Workers’ marches on Austin to the spectacle of Texas Chic on the streets of New York City, Texas mattered in these years not simply as a place, but as a repository of longstanding American myths and symbols at a historic moment in which that mythology was being deeply contested.
Delivering a fresh take on the meaning and power of “the Texan” and its repercussions for American history, this detail-rich exploration reframes the implications of a populist moment that continues to inspire progressive change.
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Jason Mellard is Assistant Director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University–San Marcos, where he also teaches in the Department of History.Review:
"The book's strength is in its breadth. Mellard ties wildly disparate elements into a massive network of intellectual, social and cultural connections, but he avoids gluing them as tightly as some readers might like; narrative neatness may equal simplification, and simplification is the academic historian's blight. [...] Few readers will have connected the decline of a particular Austin subculture to the rise of a larger national iconography. Mellard has built an impressive, if occasionally untidy, archive of the political and cultural associations that describe the arc." - Texas Observer "Jason Mellard's important book Progressive Country... look[s] at how the '70s changed the world's perception, and Texans' own perceptions, of what a "Texas man" was and signifies, before and after the 'cosmic cowboys" moment. It's a cultural and social history, in which the music, self-evidently, plays a key part, and those who want to understand more about how and why that scene happened and how it's mattered will find the book illuminating." - Engine 145 "...throughout this sophisticated narrative, Mellard guides the reader with clarity and precision. Progressive Country is a model of interdisciplinary studies at its best." - Texas Books in Review
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Book Description University of Texas Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110292753004
Book Description University of Texas Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0292753004