The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism Paperback – 1 Dec 1998
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From the Publisher
Read an excerpt online.
THE CONQUEST OF COOL is a new take on the Sixties, a re-juggling of the icons, an overturning of the shibboleths. Tom Frank takes a sharp look at the business culture of the 1960s and its relation to the counterculture of the Sixties. Todd Gitlin called the book "a forceful and convincing demonstration of the cunning of commercialism. Advertisers knew what was hip before hippie entrepreneurs, and this story, told here with verve and lucidity, is well worth the attention of all serious readers."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY gave the book a starred review: "bristlingly intelligent . . . adroitly illuminates the intricacies behind the familiar stories of the '60s . . . frequently brilliant."
You may read an excerpt from Chapter One at
Tom Frank is founder/editor of the Chicago-based journal of literature and cultural criticism, THE BAFFLER. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
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 new 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. In both areas, each having also been an important pillar of fifties conservatism, the utopian, complacent surface of postwar consumerism was smashed by a new breed of admen and manufacturers who openly addressed public distrust of their industries, who recognized the absurdity of consumer society, who made war on conformity, and who finally settled on youth rebellion and counterculture as the symbol of choice for their new marketing vision. The Conquest of Cool is a thorough history of advertising as well as an incisive commentary on the evolution of a peculiarly American sensibility, the pervasive co-optation that defines today's hip commercial culture. By studying the devices and institutions of co-optation rather than those of resistance, Frank offers a picture of the 1960s that differs dramatically from the accounts of youth rebellion and sell-out that have become so familiar over the years. The Conquest of Cool forsakes the stories of campus and bohemia to follow the Dodge Rebellion, chronicle the Pepsi Generation, and recount the Peacock Revolution - by so doing, it raises important new questions about the culture of that most celebrated and maligned decade. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Rather than being a rebellion against the consumer culture, the counterculture rejuvenated the consumer experience. The plenty of America in the 1950s was no longer enough, consumers wanted authentic differentiated items that declared their self-identity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
(I read this book for a class at Yale, "The Formation of Modern American Culture: 1920 to the Present. Read morePublished on 5 May 1999
The advertising of the 50's sold more good & services than any previous decade. The advertising of the 60's was again a record for sales of goods and services. Read morePublished on 17 April 1999
Frank's work with the Baffler and the Reader has always been enlightening and entertaining. As essays for the casual reader, his writing can do a lot of eye-opening. Read morePublished on 9 April 1999
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