Cultural Geography of the Beatles: How Landscapes are Represented as Musical Texts (strawberry Fields, Abbey Road, and Penny Lane)

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This book is the first comprehensive geographical analysis of the Beatles. While scholars in a variety of disciplines have analyzed the Beatles’ affect on popular culture, a study of the Beatles from a distinctly spatial perspective has been missing in the literature. This study fills that gap by employing traditional topics of cultural geography such as place and landscape associated with them. In addition, this work addresses the Beatles’ rise to worldwide fame in terms of the influences of particular places of their youth in Liverpool, places where they performed in England, and the changing settings of their international tours. Fieldwork conducted in London and Liverpool, England and New York City in the United States revealed a variety of spatial practices that occur at places associated with the Beatles. Such practices include inscriptions by fans or “pilgrims”, the leaving of artifacts, and re-enactments of famous photographs of the group. This book will appeal to scholars and students and cultural geography as well as sociology and culture studies.


“This present study is skillfully written, persuasively argued and full of surprises. It is at once rigorous and personal, theoretically sound yet intensely emotional. Building on the tradition of cultural geographers before him, such as John Kirtland Wright, David Lowenthal, Carl Sauer and John Brinkerhoff Jackson, Kruse has produced a study that represents an excursion into the uncharted territories of cultural geography and landscape studies in the twenty-first century.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) James A. Tyner, Associate Professor of Geography, Kent State University

“Robert Kruse has written the first comprehensive study of the Beatles from a geographical perspective. He offers a thought-provoking departure from standard historical and cultural treatments of the Beatles by exploring the importance of space and place to their emergence, international fame, and lasting influence. Cultural geographers have long studied music, although the incorporation of critical theory into this research has come about more recently. Kruse contributes to this intellectual project with a post-structural approach that makes valuable connections between discourse, landscape, and popular music … Robert Kruse has not just given us a book about the Beatles but a map for analyzing the larger influence of rock n’roll and celebrity cultures on the geographies of everyday life.” ¬– Derek H. Alderman, Associate Professor of Geography, East Carolina University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Placing the Beatles in Geography
1. Geographies of the Beatles (1957-1964)
2. Placing the Beatles in Cultural Discourses
3. Landscapes of the Beatles London and Liverpool, England
4. Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York City
5. Summary and Coda

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