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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Warhol, Dr. Seuss and the Making of America by Elizabeth Raney is a nonfiction book that captures a historical and cultural phenomenon in the United States. The author takes an incisive look at two personalities that deeply influenced the cultural trends in the 1950s and 1960s, exploring the cultural movements of the time, and how they ushered in a new era. These personalities are the artist Andy Warhol and author Dr. Seuss. The author describes the historical and cultural context following WW2 in the 1940s, capturing the sense of independence that women experienced and how it shaped their outlook on life and their place in society. Based on the author’s Ph.D. thesis, this book is a groundbreaking work that compares the work of two artists and how they influenced a revolution, at times silent, which ushered America into a new era.
This book is as relevant as it is informative, and delves deep into the cultural soul of the American people, discussing not only the influence that these two artists had on America but also the historical events around them that introduced new beliefs and consciousness. Readers will understand the place of war and how it changed history, as well as the civil rights movement and its grip on the social consciousness. Elizabeth Raney offers historical and cultural commentaries on a wide range of issues, including gender equality, music, religious liberty, the justice system, and a lot more. The author identifies the key moments of social change and how the works of Warhol and Dr. Seuss crystallized the new cultural values that define contemporary America.
Warhol, Dr. Seuss and the Making of America is well-researched and expertly written: a captivating book that offers stunning and interesting commentaries, whilst also entertaining readers. The prose is crisp and upbeat, and I was fascinated by the detail in writing, as well as the author’s ability to explore popular shows and soap operas of the day and the cultural effects they had on millions of Americans. This book shows readers how cultural trends come about whilst introducing them to America’s cultural shift.