The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism

University of Chicago Press
3
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While the youth counterculture remains the most evocative and best-remembered symbol of the cultural ferment of the 1960s, the revolution that shook American business during those boom years has gone largely unremarked. In this fascinating and revealing study, Thomas Frank shows how the youthful revolutionaries were joined—and even anticipated —by such unlikely allies as the advertising industry and the men's clothing business.

"[Thomas Frank is] perhaps the most provocative young cultural critic of the moment."—Gerald Marzorati, New York Times Book Review

"An indispensable survival guide for any modern consumer."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Frank makes an ironclad case not only that the advertising industry cunningly turned the countercultural rhetoric of revolution into a rallying cry to buy more stuff, but that the process itself actually predated any actual counterculture to exploit."—Geoff Pevere, Toronto Globe and Mail

"The Conquest of Cool helps us understand why, throughout the last third of the twentieth century, Americans have increasingly confused gentility with conformity, irony with protest, and an extended middle finger with a populist manifesto. . . . His voice is an exciting addition to the soporific public discourse of the late twentieth century."—T. J. Jackson Lears, In These Times

"An invaluable argument for anyone who has ever scoffed at hand-me-down counterculture from the '60s. A spirited and exhaustive analysis of the era's advertising."—Brad Wieners, Wired Magazine

"Tom Frank is . . . not only old-fashioned, he's anti-fashion, with a place in his heart for that ultimate social faux pas, leftist politics."—Roger Trilling, Details
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 21, 1998
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Pages
322
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ISBN
9780226924632
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Advertising & Promotion
Business & Economics / Commerce
History / General
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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THE #1 HACK FOR SMARTER MARKETING

We all want new answers and new solutions for the very real and pressing challenges that our organizations face. New things to point to and talk about, new ways of working and new ways of thinking that might just be better than the old ways.

But rather than this endless search for a brilliant and novel solution, why don't you just copy something that’s worked before?

Mark Earls, leading expert in marketing and consumer behaviour, quashes the stigma around copying, and shows that it can help us to rethink how we go about solving problems. By understanding what other people are doing and the choices they make, we can develop strategies to solve the challenges that we face inside and outside the organization.

Based on extensive research and proven examples, Copy, Copy, Copy provides over 50 strategies that you can use right away to copy, borrow or steal as the basis for better ideas – faster. If it’s good enough for Elvis, Newton, Shakespeare, The British Olympic Cycling Team and Great Ormond Street Hospital, isn’t it good enough for you?


‘This delightful book argues convincingly that transferring ideas usually produces greater value than cooking them up from scratch. And then shows you how.’ — Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy London and the Spectator Magazine’s Wikiman

‘Yet another entertaining handbook from the acclaimed Herdmeister for anyone involved in marketing, behavioural change and understanding why we all make the choices we make. Earls convincingly disrupts convention about what is innovation – though "praxis". This is jammed with great case studies and 52 actionable strategies.’ — Stephen Maher, Chairman, The Marketing Society and CEO, MBA

‘Yet again this leading British business thinker has got us to see the world we inhabit today in fresh and mind-altering ways. A book which marries theory and practice better than the vast majority out there. Most of all his message of copying one’s way to greatness is entertaining, counter-intuitive and fun.’ — David Abraham, CEO Channel 4 PLC

In this unique work of scholarship, Edd Applegate surveys the key figures and events that transformed the American business landscape from its colonial beginnings to that Mad Men moment when advertising “went professional.” In The Rise of Advertising in the United States: A History of Innovation to 1960, Applegate traces how the explosion of newspapers in the American colonies laid the groundwork for the first advertising agents, leading to America’s first class of professional marketers. This entrepreneurial class of new white-collar professionals thrived on innovation in the quest for more publicity, larger clients, and greater sales. Some of the thought-leaders in what remained a novel, ever-changing form of communication include:

• P. T. Barnum, master of the advertising “gimmick”
• Lydia Pinkham, queen of the patent medicine cure
• John Wanamaker, progenitor of modern retail advertising
• Albert Lasker, the formulator of “reason why” advertising
• Stanley Resor, the consummate market researcher
• Elliott White Springs, the groundbreaking purveyor of the sexual innuendo

Applegate records the achievements of these individuals and others up until 1960, when advertising underwent a remarkable change, becoming a post-war subject of study and scholarship in America’s colleges and universities. Written for those interested in learning about a select group of movers and shakers in this key area of American business, The Rise of Advertising in the United States should appeal to anyone interested in American business history.
From the bestselling author of What's the Matter With Kansas, a scathing look at the standard-bearers of liberal politics -- a book that asks: what's the matter with Democrats?

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.

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