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

by Thomas Frank

  • ISBN: 9780226259918
  • ISBN10: 0226259919

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

by Thomas Frank

  • List Price: $22.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780226259918
  • ISBN10: 0226259919
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Description: The most evocative and representative symbol of the 1960s is its youth counterculture. Yet as we learn in Thomas Frank's fascinating and revealing new study, the youthful revolutionaries were joined -- and even anticipated by -- such unlikely allies as the advertising industry and the men's clothing business.

In the fifties, Madison Avenue deluged the country with images of clear-eyed junior executives, happy housewives, and idealized families in gloriously tail-finned American cars. But Frank shows how, during the "creative revolution" of the sixties, the ad industry turned savagely on the very icons it had created, celebrating irrepressible youth with the Pepsi Generation, and imagining brands as signifiers of rule-breaking, defiance, difference, and revolt. Even the menswear industry, erstwhile maker of staid, unchanging garments, ridiculed its own traditions as remnants of intolerable conformity and discovered youth insurgency as an ideal symbol for its colorful new fashions. Thus, the strategy of co-opting dissident style that is so commonplace in today's hip, commercial culture emerged.

Accessibly written in an engaging and energetic style, "The Conquest of Cool" is a thorough, enlightened history of advertising as well as an incisive commentary on the evolution of American sensibility. Frank adds detail to a part of the sixties canvas that has remained blank, while pointing the way toward a reconsideration of an almost mythic decade.

"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". -- ToddGitlin

"The Conquest of Cool is the remarkable debut of a cultural critic whose work we can look forward to reading for many years to come". -- Earl Shorris, Author of A Nation of Salesmen

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