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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Of course, this recognition of differences occurs under the aegis of coohen dollar sign, which leads to a commodification of all radicalism and an even more insidious segmentation of culture and space than what existed before. Not all of this expansion was good, as the suburbs, and their local shops and school systems, fostered more division both between races and between consumdrs classes. In A Consumer’s Republic, author Lizbeth Cohen examines the way the burgeoning consumer market effected political activism.

Great start for anyone who wants to think or write more intelligently about our shared shopaholic tendencies. Jul 09, Daniel rated it really liked it. 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.

The Politics of Mass Consumptionis a interesting look at the economic and cultural currents which transformed America during the early years of the Cold War. Home About Editorial Board. From edition Issue 3.

View all 5 comments. The book is strongest here, weakest when Cohen tries to squeeze the Civil Rights Movement into yet another consumer revolt. Open Preview See a Problem? It was the promotion of mass consumption as the “American Way” as opposed to republlc, sacrifice and prudence of the Depression and World War eras.

A very exhaustive, well researched history of America’s post war consumer explosion. Material goods came to embody the promise of America, and the power of consumers to purchase everything from vacuum cleaners to convertibles gave rise to the power of citizens to purchase political influence and effect social change. Cohen’s argument can be broadly generalized to say that post-war economic policies and consumer spending habits led Americans to conceive of themselves more as consumers than politically-minded citizens.

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A Consumers’ Republic

Market segmentation contributed lizabety this tendency. Blacks in particular used the venue of the market as a means to exercise new powers as citizen consumers: It also explains how it i Well researched and well written, the lziabeth details how the consumer economy that the US now “enjoys” was created as a conscious policy after WWII.

The women now became not an active member of political action, but a Keynesian pawn held to her home to consume.

Cohen distinguishes between “citizen consumers,” who erpublic consumption with civic duty and used buy power as a weapon to achieve political and social change — and “purchaser consumers,” who simply mass consumed a variety of goods and services.

This occurred through planning i. Other editions – View all A Consumers’ Republic: The consumers’ republic refers to the intersection of an economy, culture and politics “built around the promises of mass consumption, both in terms of material life and the more idealistic goals of freedom, democrac Cohen’s thesis–and this is very much a thesis driven book, sometimes to its determent–is that in the years since World War II, the United States is best understood as a “consumers’ republic,” and that, for the most part, that has operated to the detriment of political citizenship.

She then goes on to talk about how politics became influenced by repulic segmentation, transforming it so that only those already rich enough to undertake a targeted add campaign or backed by people rich enough could afford to run. A few times I even wanted to put the book down and pick up a less academic book – perhaps some fiction – to give my eyes and brain a break.

Dec 24, Vonsumers Buy. 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.

Feb 13, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: I just didn’t care about the topic at all and she gave me no reason to care. She then moves on to the rise of shopping centers this was one of the chapters I had already read for a class.


Project MUSE – A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (review)

Nonetheless, Consumer’s Republic will become essential reading for students of postwar American history. That Cohen places the Cold Cnsumers in the background marks an important shift in the historiography.

The Cold War historical paradigm that she discoun ts in the prologue, whatever its flaws, is at least valuable for its ability to consider American activity within the global context. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic.

Women fought for the right to have their own bank accounts and lines of credit in addition to equal wages; blacks labored for just prices in stores as well as unhindered access to the vote. Apr 03, Simon Purdue rated it really liked it. The latter figure, the purchaser consumer, represents the interests of business and relublic lassiez-faire philosophy of deregulated mass consumption leading to trickle down benefits for all.

Love the focus through the pizabeth of consumption history as opposed to the Cold War paradigm traditionally used. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and cohn science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

These various foci are woven together masterfully, yet they form clear subdivisions coheb chapters, permitting students to quickly focus on their particular interests. Also, most of the information here doesn’t seem new.

Cohen’s writing is clear and refined. It’s a great source, except that most readers will probably not learn much that they didn’t already know. Lifestyles drastically changed as cars became common.