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"A convincing and perceptive analysis that provides a careful sociological portrait of advertising agency people in the 1920s and 1930s. Marchand has rare talent for bringing out things in the ads that the reader would not have seen alone."--Michael Schudson, University of California, San Diego "This work illuminates some of the most important developments in twentieth-century America."--T.J. Jackson Lears, Rutgers University
A revealing look at advertising from 1920 to 1940 examines how, through anticipation of a more complex, urban society, advertisers discovered new ways to play on anxiety and manipulate images to promote a self-sustaining "consumption ethic."
A revealing look at advertising from 1920 to 1940 examines how, through anticipation of a more complex, urban society, advertisers discovered new ways to play on anxiety and manipulate images to promote a self-sustaining "consumption ethic."
"If there was a book like Brought to You By when I came into the advertising business, it would have saved me ten years of hard knocks. I plan to buy it by the box load and hand it out as my gift to any young person who expresses interest in getting into the advertising business." ?Jerry Della Femina, President, Jerry Della Femina & Partners "The most exciting and comprehensive explanation of how a single medium rose to be one of the most definitive forces in our culture." ?John Gerzema, Managing Director, Fallon NYC "A fun-filled journey of reminiscences for those of us old enough to remember the early days of TV advertising. Samuel also provides a powerful analogy that puts the roles of regulation, freedom, and the profit motive of the Internet in perspective." ?Paul J. Groncki, Ph.D., VP, Director of Marketing Research, J.P. Morgan "Incredibly thought-provoking for anyone interested in the shaping of our commercial culture." ?Megan Kent, Executive Director, Brand Planning, Bozell Worldwide "All scholars interested in how and why advertisers used commercials to advance a triumphant and optimistic American Way will find Brought to You By an exciting read." ?Lary May, Professor of American Studies, University of Minnesota "This important book examines and credits, warts and all, the undeniable engine behind our country's thirst for growth and belief in endless possibilities?the television commercial." ?Mark R. Morris, Chairman, Bates North America "For the general reader or the specialist seeking to understand the commercial roots of our experience economy, I cannot imagine a more perceptive guide." ?John F. Sherry, Jr., Professor of Marketing, Northwestern University "Fascinating reading, capturing a pivotal moment in the shaping of the most powerful generation in history, baby boomers." ?Benny Sommerfeld, Business Development Manager, Volvo Cars N.A.
There is no better way to understand America than by understanding the cultural history of the American Dream. Rather than just a powerful philosophy or ideology, the Dream is thoroughly woven into the fabric of everyday life, playing a vital role in who we are, what we do, and why we do it. No other idea or mythology has as much influence on our individual and collective lives. Tracing the history of the phrase in popular culture, Samuel gives readers a field guide to the evolution of our national identity over the last eighty years.Samuel tells the story chronologically, revealing that there have been six major eras of the mythology since the phrase was coined in 1931. Relying mainly on period magazines and newspapers as his primary source material, the author demonstrates that journalists serving on the front lines of the scene represent our most valuable resource to recover unfiltered stories of the Dream. The problem, Samuel reveals, is that it does not exist; the Dream is just that, a product of our imagination. That it is not real ultimately turns out to be the most significant finding and what makes the story most compelling.
Once there was a golden age of American thrift, when citizens lived sensibly within their means and worked hard to stay out of debt. The growing availability of credit in this century, however, has brought those days to an end--undermining traditional moral virtues such as prudence, diligence, and the delay of gratification while encouraging reckless consumerism. Or so we commonly believe. In this engaging and thought-provoking book, Lendol Calder shows that this conception of the past is in fact a myth. Calder presents the first book-length social and cultural history of the rise of consumer credit in America. He focuses on the years between 1890 and 1940, when the legal, institutional, and moral bases of today's consumer credit were established, and in an epilogue takes the story up to the present. He draws on a wide variety of sources--including personal diaries and letters, government and business records, newspapers, advertisements, movies, and the words of such figures as Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and P. T. Barnum--to show that debt has always been with us. He vigorously challenges the idea that consumer credit has eroded traditional values. Instead, he argues, monthly payments have imposed strict, externally reinforced disciplines on consumers, making the culture of consumption less a playground for hedonists than an extension of what Max Weber called the "iron cage" of disciplined rationality and hard work. Throughout, Calder keeps in clear view the human face of credit relations. He re-creates the Dickensian world of nineteenth-century pawnbrokers, takes us into the dingy backstairs offices of loan sharks, into small-town shops and New York department stores, and explains who resorted to which types of credit and why. He also traces the evolving moral status of consumer credit, showing how it changed from a widespread but morally dubious practice into an almost universal and generally accepted practice by World War II. Combining clear, rigorous arguments with a colorful, narrative style, Financing the American Dream will attract a wide range of academic and general readers and change how we understand one of the most important and overlooked aspects of American social and economic life.
A lavish, gorgeously designed full-color collection that showcases the designs of Dorothy and Otis Shepard, two groundbreaking giants of early twentieth-century American advertising. Dorothy and Otis Shepard are the unsung heroes of early twentieth-century North American visual culture. Together, they were the first American graphic designers to work in multiple mediums and scales with equal skill and vision, and their work remains brilliant; yet their names are little known today. Dorothy and Otis chronicles their story in detail for the first time. It explores the Shepards’ penchant for abstraction and modernism, and shows how the advent of billboard advertising inspired their creativity—large campaigns that matched the grandeur of their lifestyle. Throughout, it demonstrates how their influence touched all aspects of consumer culture—from collaborating on the packaging for Wrigley’s Gum and designing uniforms and logos for the Chicago Cubs to planning and promoting the resort island Catalina, where Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Clark Gable, and other celebrities frequented. Dorothy and Otis illuminates their personal lives as well, from their origins and early years to the eventual dissolution of their marriage. As it brings to life these pioneering artists and their momentous partnership, it elevates them to their rightful place in popular culture and makes clear how their legendary work reflected and exemplified the American Dream.

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