Description : Vance Packard's bestselling books--Hidden Persuaders (1957), Status Seekers (1959), and Waste Makers (1960)--taught the generation that came of age in the late 1950s and early 1960s about the dangers posed by advertising, social climbing, and planned obsolescence. Like Betty Friedan and William H. Whyte, Jr., Packard (1914- ) was a journalist who played an important role in the nation's transition from the largely complacent 1950s to the tumultuous 1960s. He was also one of the first social critics to benefit from and foster the newly energized social and political consciousness of this period. Based in part on interviews with Packard, Daniel Horowitz's intellectual biography focuses on the period during which Packard left magazine writing to author his most famous works of social criticism. Horowitz traces the influence of Packard's education and early years in rural Pennsylvania, providing a deeper understanding of his thought and his later books. Packard's life, Horowitz contends, illuminates the dilemmas of a freelance social critic without inherited wealth or academic affiliation. His career also expands our understanding of how one era shaped the next, underscoring how the adversarial 1960s drew on the mass culture of the previous decade. Originally published in 1994. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Description : This abridged edition of Vance Packard's 1959 The Status Seekers presents a picture of American society in the late 1950s that allows students to develop a more accurate and complex understanding of an often-caricatured era. Daniel Horowitz's introduction provides historical context, an assssment of the book's impact, and a discussion of its critical reception.
Description : Freud on Madison Avenue tells the story of how and why mid-twentieth-century advertisers adopted Freudian psychology to sell products. This study follows the careers of Paul Lazarsfeld, Herta Herzog, James Vicary, Alfred Politz, Pierre Martineau, Edward Bernays, and the father of motivational research, Ernest Dichter.
Description : This book examines the intersection of cultural anthropology and American cultural nationalism from 1886, when Franz Boas left Germany for the United States, until 1965, when the National Endowment for the Humanities was established. Five chapters trace the development within academic anthropology of the concepts of culture, social class, national character, value, and civilization, and their dissemination to non-anthropologists. As Americans came to think of culture anthropologically, as a 'complex whole' far broader and more inclusive than Matthew Arnold's 'the best which has been thought and said', so, too, did they come to see American communities as stratified into social classes distinguished by their subcultures; to attribute the making of the American character to socialization rather than birth; to locate the distinctiveness of American culture in its unconscious canons of choice; and to view American culture and civilization in a global perspective.
Description : This work charts the reactions of prominent American writers to the unprecedented prosperity of the decades following World War II. It examines Lewis Mumford's wartime call for 'democratic' consumption and concludes with an analysis of the origins of Jimmy Carter's 'malaise' speech of 1979.
Description : A history of the twentieth century which covers all the ideas, people, great events, literary and artistic movements, scientific discoveries which have shaped the twentieth century. Terrible Beauty presents a unique narrative of the twentieth century. Unlike more conventional histories, where the focus is on political events and personalities, on wars, treaties and elections, this book concentrates on the ideas that made the century so rich, rewarding and provocative. Beginning with four seminal ideas which were introduced in 1900 - the unconscious, the gene, the quantum and Picasso's first paintings in Paris - the book brings together the main areas of thought and juxtaposes the most original and influential ideas of our time in an immensely readable narrative. From the creation of plastic to Norman Mailer, from the discovery of the 'Big Bang' to the Counterculture, from Relativity to Susan Sontag, from Proust to Salman Rushdie, and Henri Bergson to Saul Bellow, the book's range is encyclopedic. We meet in these pages the other twentieth century, the writers, the artists, the scientists and philosophers who were not cowed by the political and military disasters raging around them, and produced some of the most amazing and rewarding ideas by which we live. Terrible Beauty, endlessly stimulating and provocative, affirms that there was much more to the twentieth century than war and genocide.
Description : Alfred Hitchcock's American films are not only among the most admired works in world cinema, they also offer some of our most acute responses to the changing shape of American society in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The authors of this anthology show how famous films such as Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Rear Window, along with more obscure ones such as Rope, The Wrong Man, and Family Plot, register the ideologies and insurgencies, the normative assumptions and the cultural alternatives, that shaped these tumultuous decades. They argue that, just as these films occupy a visual landscape defined by the grand monuments of American civic life--Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations--they are also marked by their preoccupation with the social mores and private practices of mid-century America. Not only are big-city and suburban life the explicit subjects of films like Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt, so are the forms of experience that emerge within these social spaces, whether the urban voyeurism examined by the former or the intertwining of banality and violence depicted in the latter. Indeed, just about every form of American life that was achieving social power at this time--the national security state; the science and art of psychoanalysis; the privileging of the free-wheeling, improvisatory self; the postwar codification and fissuring of gender roles; road-culture and its ancillary creation, the motel--is given detailed, critical, and mordant examination in Hitchcocks films. The Hitchcock who emerges is not merely the inspired technician and psychological excavator that critics of the past two generations have justly hailed; he is also a cultural critic of remarkable insight and undeniable prescience.
Description : Provides an overview of the many dimensions of consumer buying trends, focusing specifically on the context of economic, social, and political indicators, and discusses the consumer culture on a global level.
Description : Erich Fromm was a political activist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, and one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. Known for his theories of personality and political insight, Fromm dissected the sadomasochistic appeal of brutal dictators while also eloquently championing love—which, he insisted, was nothing if it did not involve joyful contact with others and humanity at large. Admired all over the world, Fromm continues to inspire with his message of universal brotherhood and quest for lasting peace. The first systematic study of Fromm's influences and achievements, this biography revisits the thinker's most important works, especially Escape from Freedom and The Art of Loving, which conveyed important and complex ideas to millions of readers. The volume recounts Fromm's political activism as a founder and major funder of Amnesty International, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and other peace groups. Consulting rare archival materials across the globe, Lawrence J. Friedman reveals Fromm's support for anti-Stalinist democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe and his efforts to revitalize American democracy. For the first time, readers learn about Fromm's direct contact with high officials in the American government on matters of war and peace while accessing a deeper understanding of his conceptual differences with Freud, his rapport with Neo-Freudians like Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, and his association with innovative artists, public intellectuals, and world leaders. Friedman elucidates Fromm's key intellectual contributions, especially his innovative concept of "social character," in which social institutions and practices shape the inner psyche, and he clarifies Fromm's conception of love as an acquired skill. Taking full stock of the thinker's historical and global accomplishments, Friedman portrays a man of immense authenticity and spirituality who made life in the twentieth century more humane than it might have been.
Description : A discussion of how modern advertising attempts to control our thoughts and desires in order to make us buy the products it produces. Exploring the use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including subliminal tactics, this book shows how advertisers secretly manipulate mass desire for consumer goods and products. In addition, Packard also discusses advertising in politics, predicting the way image and personality rapidly came to overshadow real issues in the televised age.