Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

John T. Kneebone

Abstract

This thesis explores the changing reputation and legacy of John Powell (1882-1963). Powell was a Virginian-born pianist, composer, and ardent Anglo-Saxon supremacist who created musical propaganda to support racial purity and to define the United States as an exclusively Anglo-Saxon nation. Although he once enjoyed international fame, he has largely disappeared from the public consciousness today. In contrast, the legacies of many of Powell’s musical contemporaries, such as Charles Ives and George Gershwin, have remained vigorous. By examining the ways in which the public has perceived and portrayed Powell both during and after his lifetime, this thesis links Powell’s obscurity to a deliberate, public rejection of his Anglo-Saxon supremacist definition of the United States.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

History Commons

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