Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1985 - Social Science - 448 pages
1 Review
It has become impossible to imagine our culture without advertising. But how and why did advertising become a determiner of our self-image? Advertising the American Dream looks carefully at the two decades when advertising discovered striking new ways to play on our anxieties and to promise solace for the masses.

As American society became more urban, more complex, and more dominated by massive bureaucracies, the old American Dream seemed threatened. Advertisers may only have dimly perceived the profound transformations America was experiencing. However, the advertising they created is a wonderfully graphic record of the underlying assumptions and changing values in American culture. With extensive reference to the popular media--radio broadcasts, confession magazines, and tabloid newspapers--Professor Marchand describes how advertisers manipulated modern art and photography to promote an enduring "consumption ethic."

What people are saying - Write a review

Advertising the American dream: making way for modernity, 1920-1940

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This work, unlike other recent studies such as Stephen Fox's The Mirror Makers ( LJ 5/15/84), focuses less on the history and more on the social context of American advertising during the 1920s and ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

If I actually read the book it might have been good. I bought this for my JRP in school but it quickly became my dog's chew toy. I won't go in to detail but citing a pile of crap seemed somewhat unproffesional. A three star rating seemed only natural.

Other editions - View all

About the author (1985)

Roland Marchand (1933-1997) was Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, and authored numerous works on American cultural history.

Bibliographic information