New book: Emily Abrams Ansari “The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War”

Associate Professor (Music History) Emily Abrams Ansari has published her first book, which will be released in mid-June. Published by Oxford University Press, “The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War” considers the ways in which the Cold War shaped the lives and musical works of American classical composers who were committed to creating a uniquely American tradition.

Description from Oxford University Press:

In The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War, Emily Abrams Ansari offers a fuller, more nuanced picture of the effect of the Cold War on Americanist composers. The ideological conflict brought both challenges and opportunities. Some Americanist composers struggled greatly in this new artistic and political environment. Those with leftist politics sensed a growing gap between the United States that their music imagined and the aggressive global superpower that their nation seemed to be becoming. But these same composers would find unique opportunities to ensure the survival of musical Americanism thanks to the federal government, which wanted to use American music as a Cold War propaganda tool. By serving as advisors to cultural diplomacy programs and touring as artistic ambassadors, the Americanists could bring their now government-backed music to new global audiences. Some with more right-wing politics, meanwhile, would actually flourish in the new ideological environment, by aligning their music with Cold War conceptions of American identity.

Related links

Oxford University Press: Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War

Emily Abrams Ansari - biographyabrams ansari: sound of a superpower