The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 339 pages
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This book charts the reactions of prominent American writers to the unprecedented prosperity of the decades following World War II. It begins with an examination of Lewis Mumford's wartime call for "democratic" consumption and concludes with an analysis of the origins of President Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech of 1979. Between these bookends, Daniel Horowitz documents a broad range of competing views, each in its own way reflective of a deep-seated ambivalence toward consumer culture.

 

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The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939-1979

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Intimately linked with capitalism throughout its history, the American psyche has more recently been shaped by wealth. As Horowitz (American studies, Smith Coll.) details in his latest work, the ... Read full review

Contents

Chastened Consumption World War II and the Campaign for a Democratic Standard of Living
20
Celebratory Émigrés
48
A Southerner in Exile the Cold War and Social Order
79
Critique from Within
101
From the Affluent Society to the Poverty of Affluence 19601962
129
Consumer Activism 19651970
162
The Energy Crisis and the Quest to Contain Consumption
203
Three Intellectuals and a President Jimmy Carter Energy and the Crisis of Confidence
225
The Response to Affluence at the End of the Century
245
Notes
257
Acknowledgments
319
Index
323
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Page 38 - Now the end of all practical activity is culture: a maturing mind, a ripening character, an increasing sense of mastery and fulfillment, a higher integration of all one's powers in a social personality; a larger capacity for intellectual interests and emotional enjoyments, for more complex and subtle states of mind.

About the author (2005)

Daniel Horowitz is Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies at Smith College and author of Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism.

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