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  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction 1

    1 The Arrival of Jazz 13

    2 The Spread of Jazz 34

    3 Jazz and the City of Paris 52

    4 The Meanings of Jazz: America, Negre, and Civilization 71

    5 Making Jazz Familiar: Music Halls and the Avant-Garde 104

    6 Making Jazz French: Parisian Musicians and Jazz Fans 123

    7 New Bands and New Tensions: Jazz and the Labor Problem 143

    8 The Discovery of Hot Jazz 154

    9 Epilogue 191

    Appendix: Histories of Jazz in Interwar France 205

    Notes 211

    Selected Bibliography 255

    Index 261
  • “A history that reads like a good story, this new book by Jeffrey H. Jackson illumines the multiple reactions to jazz in France, ranging from enthusiasm and fascination to fear and disgust. It also vividly recaptures the broad cultural context and above all succeeds in demonstrating the importance of jazz for the ongoing debate about French
    national identity and modernity.”—Charles Rearick, author of The French in Love and War: Popular Culture in the Era of the World Wars — N/A

    “Jeffrey H. Jackson’s work is unique in providing a more detailed history of jazz in interwar France than anything yet in print (certainly in English). Jackson offers a new, rather unusual perspective, concentrating on the ways jazz was integrated into national practices and traditions, rather than portraying it as simply a foreign intrusion into national life. This is a very rich approach to cultural history, offering a far more complex and nuanced understanding of the process of trans-Atlantic cultural interchange than top-down perspectives.”—Tyler Stovall, coeditor of The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France — N/A

    “This lively and innovative book views jazz through the prism of contemporary ideas about 'blackness' and the Americanization of Europe's economy and culture to explore the relationship between culture, race, and national identity in twentieth-century France. Jeffrey H. Jackson reveals a complex interplay of cultural and social forces that stretches from across the Atlantic to the trenches of World War I to the colonies of la plus grande France."—Alice Conklin, author of A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895-1930 — N/A

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  • Description

    Between the world wars, Paris welcomed not only a number of glamorous American expatriates, including Josephine Baker and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but also a dynamic musical style emerging in the United States: jazz. Roaring through cabarets, music halls, and dance clubs, the upbeat, syncopated rhythms of jazz soon added to the allure of Paris as a center of international nightlife and cutting-edge modern culture. In Making Jazz French, Jeffrey H. Jackson examines not only how and why jazz became so widely performed in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s but also why it was so controversial.

    Drawing on memoirs, press accounts, and cultural criticism, Jackson uses the history of jazz in Paris to illuminate the challenges confounding French national identity during the interwar years. As he explains, many French people initially regarded jazz as alien because of its associations with America and Africa. Some reveled in its explosive energy and the exoticism of its racial connotations, while others saw it as a dangerous reversal of France’s most cherished notions of "civilization." At the same time, many French musicians, though not threatened by jazz as a musical style, feared their jobs would vanish with the arrival of American performers. By the 1930s, however, a core group of French fans, critics, and musicians had incorporated jazz into the French entertainment tradition. Today it is an integral part of Parisian musical performance. In showing how jazz became French, Jackson reveals some of the ways a musical form created in the United States became an international phenomenon and acquired new meanings unique to the places where it was heard and performed.

    About The Author(s)

    Jeffrey H. Jackson is Assistant Professor of History at Rhodes College.

Fall 2017
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