In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II. In charting the complex legacy of our “Consumers’ Republic” Lizabeth Cohen has written a bold, encompassing, and profoundly influential. Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic. By politics | Published: August 10, The United States of the twentieth century has often been.
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Her analysis is solid, and the book is well written for the most part. As Cohen makes crystal clear, this creation involved a lizabrth of interrelated actions that involved public planners in coordinating new technological systems like freeways with new consumer opportunities like shopping centers.
Especially in her section on the movement of w Excellent analysis of the post-war economy that was fueled by consumerism.
Feb 13, William rated it liked it Shelves: Open Preview See a Problem? From the Trade Paperback edition. For Cohen, the suburban shopping malls hastened consukers decline of a more community-oriented style of consumption that had existed in urban downtowns.
Our political fragmentation and partisan rancor have only consu,ers enhanced by this trend. In her examination, she builds upon E.
However, the nuance of her work, especially in her attention to the gender and racial inequalities of post-war consumption patterns, illuminates a fundamental shift in what it means to be an American citizen and what constitutes “rights” beyond the framers’ intent.
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A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
Frankly, my brain hurts. Thus the book could easily lose a hundred pages without losing any real content. Her history is impeccable; her almost superhuman investigations into obscure sources and archives bring many rewards. After the war, many people envisioned a “consumer’s republic” in which high levels of income and consumption would raise the standard of living of all Americans and unite them in an age oIn the 50’s and 60’s, it became more of a way of life that mixed into race, where people lived, gender, and politics.
Apr 03, Simon Purdue rated it really liked it. From the Trade Paperback edition. Inspired by Your Browsing History. She largely views the postwar period, however, as defined by a broad consensus among business, labor, and policymakers.
If you answered cyou’ll be well prepared to follow this It has a scholarly feel, though a ‘popular’ look; the art is well-done, including plenty of large black and white photographs that demonstrate the point at hand, and stylized headings that bring to mind advertisements from the s. Wish that I had read it before I went to hear Dr.
In the early twentieth century, however, as suffrage waxed more universal and markets were flooded with goods made for the masses, citizenship took on a different meaning.
The consumers’ republic began to die in the s and s amid economic turbulence; even though people continued to buy more and more, the political aspect of conwumers purchasing, the meaning they had given it, fell away, both because the economy no longer responded as Keynes promised and their motives became more purely self-focused and only tangently connected to the thought of improving the nation’s fortunes.
Cohhen citizen consumer model worked best within the context of a war against fascism, at consumerw time when the United States was still a clearly bounded entity and broad political consensus was possible, a situation that probably cannot be replicated.
Excellent analysis of the post-war economy that was fueled by consumerism. On the other hand, mass consumption and the consumer mentality increased many trends that hurt African Americans, especially those living in the liizabeth cities. Cohen shows that the racist fear of property values dropping when minorities move in a myth, btw was pervasive in shaping suburban living patterns and ensuring black cities and white suburbs.
Of course, this recognition of differences occurs under the aegis of the dollar sign, which leads to a commodification of all radicalism and an even more insidious segmentation of culture and space than what existed consmuers. Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, social equality, and the American Dream.
Project MUSE – A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (review)
It’s not a perfect book; the alternation between her micro studies of New Jersey clearly home base for her research and generalizations about the U. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. Americans began to fulfill their citizenship duties by embracing mass consumption as the route to economic equality and political freedom.
There were notable exceptions: This carried over into politics as well. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Cohen shows the consumption encouraged a self and small-group centered version of the common consjmers. Chapter 7 addresses the shift in marketing and advertising during the s away from mass marketing towards market segmentation.
Technology and Culture The answer for the time period of this book 50’s to 70’s seems to be yes. Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, soci In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize cosumers and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II fueled our pervasive consumer mentality and transformed American life.
Listened to Lee Consuers on Diane Rehm show discuss his book, but he also mentioned this one, which sounded more interesting to me.
Beginning with consumer activist groups who protested high prices amid the Depression, her history examines the Civil Rights and feminist movements through the lens of consumption. The government aided veterans after WW2, but that aid went overwhelmingly to the well educated GI Bill for education did not help those who had not finished high school before the war and better capitalized.
Electrified by the shock of World War 2 and the mass production, high employment, and massive amounts of earnings it generated for workers, the United States soon found itself in a booming economy where mass consumption and marketing became defining characteristics of everyday life. Often, but not always, it was the clear intention of planners to ensure the segregation that promoted suburban growth and prosperity. Especially in her section on the movement of whites to the suburbs conusmers African Americans to the cities, I think she missed a major opportunity to discuss the movement of Native Americans to the cities.
The book is strongest here, weakest when Cohen tries to squeeze the Civil Rights Movement into yet another consumer revolt. Mar 06, Courtney rated it liked it. Looking for More Great Consumees Trumpeted as a means to promote the general welfare, mass consumption quickly outgrew its economic objectives and became synonymous with patriotism, social equality, and the American Dream.
While these anecdotes are interesting, they detract from the work and fail to live up to the scope of the rest of the material.