In Tango: Creation of a Cultural Icon Jo Baim dispels common stereotypes of the tango and tells the real story behind this rich and complex dance. Despite its exoticism, the tango of this time period is a very accessible dance, especially as European and North American dancers adapted it. Modern ballroom dancers can enjoy a "step" back in time with the descriptions included in this book. Almost as interesting as the history of the tango is the cultural response to it: cities banned it, army officers were threatened with demotion if caught dancing it, clergy and politicians wrote diatribes against it. Newspaper headlines warned that people died from dancing the tango and that it would be the downfall of civilization. The vehemence of these anti-tango outbursts confirms one thing: the tango was a cultural force to be reckoned with
Tango provides a microcosm of popular culture in the years between the turn of the 20th century and the end of World War I, with social commentators of the day weighing in for and against the romantic and sometimes scandalous tango.