In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II. In charting the complex legacy of our “Consumers’ Republic” Lizabeth Cohen has written a bold, encompassing, and profoundly influential. Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic. By politics | Published: August 10, The United States of the twentieth century has often been.

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Consumption didn’t just serve individual desires; as Keynsianism became the dominant economic philosophy, intellectuals and citizen-consumers alike saw their compulsive buying as not only fun, but patriotic: Blacks in particular used the venue of the market as a means to exercise new powers as citizen consumers: She then talks about the rise of consumer markets and how marketing changed over time as it became more lizabegh more about reaching individuals segments, with the marketers getting more scientific in their approaches by utilizing sociology, anthropology, etc.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II fueled our pervasive consumer mentality and transformed American life.

Aug 22, Hank Stuever rated it really liked it. Lizabetth the early twentieth century, however, as suffrage waxed more universal and markets were flooded with goods made for the masses, citizenship took on a different meaning. The subject matter of “A Consumers’ Republic” is engrossing and the book reveals many llizabeth that are now forgotten and swept under the consumefs. At long last, honest!

We didn’t need the vast government programs of the New Deal to bring everyone into the middle class, or so the thinking went. Joshua Walker Addison, it’s been a few months since you asked but I’ll coben nonetheless just in case! Over time, this conflation changed people’s perception of themselves as citizens and the nation as a whole. Mar 06, Courtney rated it liked it. But just as blacks won increasing access to public accommodations, such as downtown stores, movie theaters, and restaurants, these sites of consumption [End Page ] were becoming overshadowed by the increasingly segmented and privatized new commercial conxumers of suburban America.


Furthermore the postwar years marked a notable shift in American capitalism, and a scaling back of the limitations imposed from the populist era through to the New Deal.

One particularly effective illustration shows the evolution of advertising in Ebony magazine from the s to the s, as white-owned haircare manufactures realized that 1 blacks were a market and 2 that black people were a different market. Rich in detail and perception. Consumerism was a weapon for blacks and women as consumers, but ultimately it reinforced economic stratification, patriarchy and fragmentation, making it all the more difficult to form worker solidarity post Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America

From the Vonsumers Paperback edition. Cohen also emphasizes the strength of mass marketing techniques to tap into the growing buying power of post-war America.

Cohen distinguishes between “citizen consumers,” who equated consumption with civic duty and used buy power as a weapon to achieve political and social change — and “purchaser consumers,” who simply mass consumed a variety of goods and services. Cohen is acutely sensitive to social inequities based on race, class, and gender, and her attention to those matters is the book’s strength.

Dec 24, Pages Buy. Yet, she contends, the contradiction between the promise of the Consumers’ Republic and its reality helped to fuel the civil rights movement. Feb 22, Craig Werner rated it really liked it.

As activists, they forced issues of Civil Rights onto businesses that would discriminate. Dec 30, Pages. Thus the book could easily lose a hundred pages without losing any real content. The biggest beard stroker of an argument in this book dealt with the connection between consumption and politics.

Read in Marchwhen the current political climate bears the unbearable stamp of consumption, fraud and market segmentation, the significance of this shift could not have been visible to Cohen inbut her analysis republoc an eerily prescient foreshadowing of the consequences of these factors. Excellent reepublic, deeply researched and convincingly argued.

A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America by Lizabeth Cohen

To be fair, she does account for the many programs adopted to lessen the negative effects of these trends. Of course, this recognition of differences occurs republif the aegis of the dollar sign, which leads to a commodification of all radicalism and an even more insidious segmentation of culture and space than what existed before.


In fact this book is more a collection of journal articles writt Interesting take on American history from the ‘s forward that focuses on republi role or you could say rule of the consumer rather than the voter or workerarguing that they became the controlling influence, and sometimes even the controlling power in American society.

Schools were funded unequally based on property taxes. Through the citizen consumer ideal, Cohen argues, the marketplace becomes a new, simultaneously public and private means through which to work for social justice, especially for groups like blacks and women.

Knopf, pp. In the New Deal and World War II, millions of American consumers had seen their rights as individual repbulic as essential to the promotion of the “general good. The book is pages long and academic in nature which …more Addison, clhen been a few months since you asked but I’ll answer nonetheless just in case!

Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic.

The Vietnam Republi failed to motivate patriotic, responsible, citizen consumerism in the way that WWII did because by the s, the nation state paradigm was giving way to the global Empire of postmodern capitalism, and wealthy Americans had less in common with poor Americans than with their wealthy counterparts elsewhere.

The women now became not an active member of political action, but a Keynesian pawn held to her home to consume. The development of the consumer’s republic from the Great Depression to the early s. She notes the roles of women as citizen consumers and the difficult issues facing African-Americans as they sought places as both citizens and consumers.

While Cohen effectively describes how the benefits provided for in the G. Stating that the G.

Segmentation of the mass has the same dual effect as suburbanization of residence and commercialization of public space: