Skip to main content

Swingin’ the Dream

Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture

Swingin’ the Dream

Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture

During the 1930s, swing bands combined jazz and popular music to create large-scale dreams for the Depression generation, capturing the imagination of America’s young people, music critics, and the music business. Swingin’ the Dream explores that world, looking at the racial mixing-up and musical swinging-out that shook the nation and has kept people dancing ever since.

"Swingin’ the Dream is an intelligent, provocative study of the big band era, chiefly during its golden hours in the 1930s; not merely does Lewis A. Erenberg give the music its full due, but he places it in a larger context and makes, for the most part, a plausible case for its importance."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"An absorbing read for fans and an insightful view of the impact of an important homegrown art form."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] fascinating celebration of the decade or so in which American popular music basked in the sunlight of a seemingly endless high noon."—Tony Russell, Times Literary Supplement

344 pages | 32 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1998

Culture Studies

History: American History

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Pt. 1: From Jazz to Swing, 1929-1935
1: Just One More Chance: The Fall of the Jazz Age and the Rise of Swing, 1929-1935
Pt. 2: Now they Call it Swing, 1935-1942
2: The Crowd Goes Wild: The Youth Culture of Swing
3: Swing Is Here: Benny Goodman and the Triumph of American Music
4: News from the Great Wide World: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Black Swing Bands
5: Swing Left: The Politics of Race and Culture in the Swing Era
6: The City of Swing: New York and the Dance Band Business in Black and White
Pt. 3: Culture Noir, 1942-1954
7: Swing Goes to War: Glenn Miller and the Popular Music of World War II
8: The War in Jazz
9: Coda and Conclusion: Red Scares and Head Scares


Association of Jesuit Colleges and Unive: Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Awards
Honorable Mention

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press