Excerpt: "These two recent studies demonstrate the growing academic interest in the history and development of the banjo, and both make intriguing-if sometimes difficult- reading for banjo devotees.
In the years just before the Civil War, the banjo was popularly associated with African-American slaves and with their black-faced imitators, professional minstrel show players. But it was also a popular instrument among white amateur musicians-so popular, in fact, that a single banjo tournament in New York City in 1857 drew over 3000 fans to support their neighborhood favorites. Beginning at this point, Karen Linn's That Half-Barbaric Twang studies the pubic perception of the banjo-its complex and changing image in American culture."
Jolliff, William, "Book Review: That Half-Barbaric Twang: The Banjo In American Popular Culture" (1996). Faculty Publications - Department of English. 121.