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Babes in Tomorrowland


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Examines the place of Disney in the changing construction of childhood in mid-twentieth-century America

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Child 1
1. Disney Makes Disney 25
2. Making a Manageable Child 81
3. In Middletown 135
4. America's True-Life Adventure 195
5. Raising the Natural Child 247
6. Disney Maps the Frontier 300
Conclusion: The Child as Victim of Commodities 357
Notes 387
References 427
Filmography 453
Index 455

About the Author

Nicholas Sammond is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the editor of Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling, also published by Duke University Press.


"Babes in Tomorrowland is a phenomenally accomplished work. The coverage is encyclopedic, the argument masterful, and the prose consistently accessible and engaging. The amount of research is nothing short of monumental. There is no question that the book will make a significant impact on anyone working on contemporary children's culture."--Henry Jenkins, editor of The Children's Culture Reader "Babes in Tomorrowland is an impressive work that meticulously documents historically shifting conceptions of the American child. This finely researched book will make a valuable contribution to our understanding of how children serve grown-up needs as adults strive to craft a better child to ensure a better tomorrow."--Heather Hendershot, editor of Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids "Drawing on a wealth of secondary sources as well as the Disney Archives, Nicholas Sammond's wide-ranging and erudite study places the familiar story of the early Disney enterprise in the context of American culture and childrearing advice... Rich and insightful... I admire the author's scholarship and frequent brilliance." --Gary Cross, Journal of Marriage and Family "Extensively researched... The evidence Sammond supplies to explain the evolving perception of childhood is immense, and his historical purview is fascinating... One of the book's strengths is its comprehensive, interdiscipinary approach... A valuable addition to the cultural studies scholarship on Disney."--Amy M. Damico, Teachers College Record "An important, even indispensable, book in the growing field of interdisciplinary children studies."--Gerald Early, The Figure in the Carpet "Carefully researched and richly detailed... Babes in Tomorrowland provides a critical and engaging investigation of a most important subject."--Amy L. Best, American Journal of Sociology "This is a magesterial and richly illustrated history of 'American' values."-- Ruth Zanker, Media International Australia "For those interested in a broad and soundly theoretical discussion of our changing social conceptions of childhood, and the economic and social sources of those conceptions, this book makes for valuable reading... A vivid, extremely detailed history of child rearing in the early twentieth century, and a media company that blossomed alongside it."-- Chris McGee, The Lion and the Unicorn "Sammond makes a compelling case for the ways in which Disney tapped into parental concerns and the latest child-rearing wisdom..."-- Julia L. Mickenberg, American Quarterly "Babes in Tomorrowland is a thought-provoking and substantive cultural study that ties together the developing field of child psychology and the growth of the Walt Disney empire, especially during the postwar baby-boom years."-- Kathy Merlock Jackson, Journal of American Culture "Babes in Tomorrowland provides an engaging, scholarly account of how watching Beaver Valley and going to Disneyland became central to the socialization of modern American children and the national future."-- Erika Doss, Journal of American History

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