The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness

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HarperCollins, Sep 7, 2004 - Social Science - 272 pages
2 Reviews

Whether it's sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, we make important decisions as consumers every day based on our sensory experience. Sensory appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live and work. The twenty-first century has become the age of aesthetics, and whether we realize it or not, this influence has taken over the marketplace, and much more.

In this penetrating, keenly observed book, Virginia Postrel makes the argument that appearance counts, that aesthetic value is real. Drawing from fields as diverse as fashion, real estate, politics, design, and economics, Postrel deftly chronicles our culture's aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society.

Intelligent, incisive, and thought-provoking, The Substance of Style is a groundbreaking portrait of the democratization of taste and a brilliant examination of the way we live now.

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User Review  - jonesjohnson - LibraryThing

I read Survival of the Prettiest, and I still wanted more. This wasn't it. Since I ate at Dairy Queen first and Lopez Island Creamery second, I still call them both ice cream, of sorts. That's the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gwendolyndawson - LibraryThing

This is an interesting book about the proliferation of style for the masses. It also explores the (often perverse) connection between style and meaning. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Virginia Postrel writes an economics column for the New York Times and is the author of The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

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