Popular culture is important in wartime. It asserts the values of patriotism, helps to create happy warriors, and expresses people's emotions. Here, Cleveland treats war as popular culture, using service songs, folklore, and popular music as a leitmotif to explore cultural relationships between military life and society. Drawing on 20th-century lyrics, occupational folklore, and rank-and-file parodies, protests, and sexual fantasies, he shows how crises of war are mediated by popular culture and how the soldier comes to terms with boredom, discomfort, and danger. Ranging from World War I to Vietnam and drawing on his own experience in World War II, Cleveland provides a unique treatment of military folklore and popular song in 20th-century warfare from the perspective of the ordinary soldier.
About the Author:
LES CLEVELAND is now retired, having taught at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Great New Zealand Songbook (1991).