The historian John Kasson argues that Coney Island in its heyday was in some ways a liberating environment, but at the same time was “profoundly conformist” and “manipulative.” Based on the various accounts we have read, would you agree? How would you relate his comments to some of the other forms of mass culture and public amusement that we have studied in this part of the course?
Please answer one of the following questions in a paper of five to seven pages, addressing the assignments from “The Rise of Public Amusements through “Public Amusements: Triumph to Twilight”Quotes:
Class Book “Going out”(Nasaw)
Chapter 7 page 81 “Jimmy Durante, who played piano in Coney Island’s honky tonks and
barrooms, recalled that the island was a summertime haven for “young people–husky men and
pretty girls in cheap finery… didn’t have much to spend but [knew that at Coney one] could go a
long way on a few dollars.”
Page 82 “The same sort of promiscuous intermingling that Julian Ralph encouraged at Coney
must have occurred at summer resorts such as Lake Quinsigamond in Massachusetts.”
“Were in control of their day’s entertainment”
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