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Cover image of The Beer Can by the Highway
Cover image of The Beer Can by the Highway
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The Beer Can by the Highway

Essays on What's American about America

John A. Kouwenhoven

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First published in 1961, The Beer Can by the Highway takes a provocative, wide-ranging look at America's ever-changing physical and intellectual landscapes, from advertising and jazz to Manhattan's skyline and the prairies of the Midwest. The Johns Hopkins edition features a foreword by Ralph Ellison, who praises the work as "one that springs from deep within that rich segment of the American grain which gave us the likes of Emerson and Whitman, Horatio Greenough and Constance Rourke—yes, and Mark Twain."

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Kouwenhoven is... an acute and extraordinarily genial analyst of our mechanized folkware.

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Book Details

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Chapter 1. Preliminary Glance at an American Landscape
Chapter 2. The Dispraising of America
Chapter 3. What's "American" About America
Chapter 4. The Curriculum of Discovery
Chapter 5

Foreword
Preface
Chapter 1. Preliminary Glance at an American Landscape
Chapter 2. The Dispraising of America
Chapter 3. What's "American" About America
Chapter 4. The Curriculum of Discovery
Chapter 5. Liberal Crafts and Illiberal Arts
Chapter 6. Farewell, Architecture!
Chapter 7. What is "American" in Architecture and Design?
Chapter 8. Up Tails All
Chapter 9. Soft Sell, Hard Sell, Padded Sell
Chapter 10. The Beer Can by the Highway
Acknowledgments
Index

Author Bio
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John A. Kouwenhoven

John A. Kouwenhoven (1909–1990) taught English at Barnard College for many years. His books include The Columbia Historical Portrait of New York, Made in America, and Half a Truth Is Better than None.