Academic and public interest in the phenomenon of jazz outside America has been growing in recent years. The processes of exporting and import ing, and subsequently reproducing and develop ing a genre that is often considered to be “America’s classical music” are, of course, inherently political. George McKay addresses this directly in Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain, a publication that makes a signifi cant contribution to jazz studies, which has established a reputation as a rich interdisciplinary field, and more specifically to the study of cultural politics in British society.

McKay states two aims for the book: first, to examine jazz as an “export culture” and the context of the “import society” of mid-twentieth-century Britain as a “case study in the operation of the process or problem of ‘Americanization’” and secondly, “to interrogate the political inscriptions or assumptions...

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