552 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 50 illus., notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5676-5
Published: October 2006
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-7664-0
Published: January 2009
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Advertisers, McGovern shows, used nationalist ideals, icons, and political language to define consumption as the foundation of the pursuit of happiness. Consumer advocates, on the other hand, viewed the market with a republican-inspired skepticism and fought commercial incursions on consumer independence. The result, says McGovern, was a redefinition of the citizen as consumer. The articulation of an "American Way of Life" in the Depression and World War II ratified consumer abundance as the basis of a distinct American culture and history.
About the Author
Charles F. McGovern is associate professor of American studies and history at the College of William and Mary and a former curator at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. He is coeditor of Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century.
For more information about Charles F. McGovern, visit the Author Page.
"Masterful. . . . Powerfully argued and deeply researched."--Journal of Contemporary History
"Thoroughly researched, deeply grounded in archival collections, iconography, and secondary literature, and wonderfully illustrated with telling advertising imagery."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"Particularly valuable in that McGovern argues persuasively."--American Journalism
"The latest addition to the important new literature on the political economy of consumer capitalism. . . . Represents a sturdy contribution to our thinking about what is arguably the most important question in contemporary American history."--Indiana Magazine of History
"McGovern's long awaited book rewards our patience as scholars with its exemplary study of how we lost our patience as a polity of consumers."--American Historical Review
"A finely wrought, lavishly illustrated volume. . . . Highly recommended."--CHOICE