The 20th century witnessed the collapse of the traditional separation between the realm of 'official' culture and that of 'popular' entertainment. This event produced dramatic consequences at all levels of social life in the West, especially in the English-speaking context. Yet, due to its gigantic breadth and scope, the turn towards entertainment still begs for a detailed exploration. This book aims to deepen the analysis of this momentous transformation, engaging in particular with questions such as: what effects have been produced by performative and recreational practices (theater, music, radio, serious and popular literature, comic strips) in the systemic evolution of cinema and television? What role has technology played in the development of recreational forms in the 20th century? Can entertainment and its exploitation still be operative in the era of new media and the internet? By focusing on the English-speaking context, this volume offers new historical perspectives on the forms of entertainment and amusement that have become hegemonic worldwide over the past century.