Selling Seattle: Representing Contemporary Urban America
Wallflower Press, 2004 - 226
Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon.com, World Trade Organization, the grunge music of such groups as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden -- all are synonymous with Seattle, Washington, as well as ubiquitous symbols of American culture. "Selling Seattle" is the first book to examine the impact of this city on contemporary culture and to account for the city's rapid rise to fame and influence over the last decade. Relying on current debates in various disciplines -- from urban geography and interrogations of economic and cultural globalization to cinema and media studies -- James Lyons looks closely at the city's representation in film, television, journalism, and literature to show how it became a symbol of urban desire and fantasy in the 1990s.
Seattle's rise to prominence can be understood within the context of the city's fluctuating fortunes throughout its history. The Yukon gold rush of 1897 made the city an economic center, yet the aftermath of World War I and America's first general strike left the city in economic stagnation. Though it was a mixed success, the World's Fair endowed Seattle with a heightened profile, including those new icons of urban legibility, the Monorail and the Space Needle. Then grunge music on the one hand and such high-profile films as "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and "Disclosure" (1994) on the other, while sending seemingly contradictory messages, successfully sold the city as a vibrant, trend-setting urban locale. Such an unpredictable history, coupled with widescale economic and social restructuring in America's urban centers, underscores Lyons'argument that Seattle's ascent islinked to anxieties about the fate of the contemporary American city.
From the land of opportunity to no-man's-land to media darling and urban mecca, Seattle is at once the quintessential American city and a city like no other. "Selling Seattle" is an eye-opening exploration for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary American city and the powerful trends that shape the urban landscape and its place in the popular imagination.
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From business to entertainment, Seattle has been the focal point of major developments. It is the home of company headquarters for Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon.com and the setting for films like ... Przeczytaj pełną recenzję
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