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

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University of California Press, 1986 - Social Science - 448 pages
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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."
 

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User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

In Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920 – 1940, Roland Marchand argues, “The illustrations in American advertising portrayed the ideals and aspirations of the system more ... Read full 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

Contents

Apostles of Modernity
1
The New Professionals
25
Keeping the Audience in Focus
52
From Sponsored
88
Superadvertising and the specter of saturation
94
Interweaving the commercial
105
Strategies of Art and Style
117
Advertisements as Social Tableaux
165
The Great Parables
206
Parables and Visual Cliches
285
The Therapeutics of Advertising
335
Notes
365
Bibliographical Essay
419
Sources for Illustrations
427
Index
437
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About the author (1986)

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

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