This A-Z encyclopedia is a one-stop resource for understanding the history and evolution of the national anthem in American politics, culture, and mythology, as well as controversies surrounding its emergence as a lightning rod for political protests and statements.
This reference work serves as a comprehensive resource for understanding all aspects of the National Anthem and its significance in U.S. history and American life and culture. It covers the origins of the song and its selection as the nation's official anthem, and acknowledges other musical compositions proposed as national anthems. It discusses famous performances of the anthem and details laws and court decisions related to its performance, and it also explains notable phrases in its lyrics, explains the meaning of the National Anthem to different demographic groups, and surveys presentations and celebrations of the Star Spangled Banner in popular culture. Moreover, it summarizes famous political protests undertaken during renditions of the national anthem, from the black power salutes by American athletes during the 1968 Olympics to the kneeling protests undertaken by Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players to bring attention to racial inequality in America.
Hundreds of illuminating and authoritative entries on various facets of the history and cultural importance of the Star-Spangled Banner
Extensive timeline of important events in the history and evolution of America's National Anthem
Detailed bibliography of resources for further learning about the National Anthem
Guest foreword by musicology scholar Joseph Morgan on musical elements of the National Anthem song
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John R. Vile PhD, is professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. His previous encyclopedias include The American Flag and The Liberty Bell and Its Legacy.