Adman s Dilemma: From Barnum to Trump

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2018 - Business & Economics - 456 pages

The Adman's Dilemma is a cultural biography that explores the rise and fall of the advertising man as a figure who became effectively a licensed deceiver in the process of governing the lives of American consumers. Apparently this personage was caught up in a contradiction, both compelled to deceive yet supposed to tell the truth. It was this moral condition and its consequences that made the adman so interesting to critics, novelists, and eventually filmmakers.

The biography tracks his saga from its origins in the exaggerated doings of P.T. Barnum, the emergence of a new profession in the 1920s, the heyday of the adman's influence during the post-WW2 era, the later rebranding of the adman as artist, until the apparent demise of the figure, symbolized by the triumph of that consummate huckster, Donald Trump.

In The Adman's Dilemma, author Paul Rutherford explores how people inside and outside the advertising industry have understood the conflict between artifice and authenticity. The book employs a range of fictional and nonfictional sources, including memoirs, novels, movies, TV shows, websites, and museum exhibits to suggest how the adman embodied some of the strange realities of modernity.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Prelude
15
1 The Hucksters Game
30
2 The Rise of the Advertising Agent
76
3 The Chronicle of Struggle
121
4 A Worrisome Dominion
163
5 The Gospel of Creativity
202
6 A Tyranny of Signs
258
Deception and Its Discontents Farewell Don Draper 2015
304
The Triumph of the Huckster Donald J Trump Republican Nomination Acceptance Speech 21 July 2016
316
The Moral of the Biography
329
Notes
331
Concept Index
437
Name Index
441
Copyright

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About the author (2018)

Paul Rutherford is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. He is the author of several books published by UTP, including When Television Was Young (1990), The New Icons? (1994), Endless Propaganda (2000), Weapons of Mass Persuasion (2004), and World Made Sexy (2007).

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