Fables Of Abundance

Fables Of Abundance : A Cultural History Of Advertising In America

3.65 (102 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


Fables of Abundance ranges from the traveling peddlers of early modern Europe to the twentieth-century American corporation, exploring the ways that advertising collaborated with other cultural institutions to produce the dominant aspirations and anxieties in the modern United States.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 28mm | 700g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0465090753
  • 9780465090754
  • 778,581

Back cover copy

American advertisements have become perhaps the most pervasive social icons in the modern world. This book traces their rise against a richly varied backdrop. Its range encompasses literature, religion, and the visual arts, as well as economics, public policy, and the history of medicine. Its cast of characters includes a host of remarkable figures in or around advertising, from P. T. Barnum and Theodore Dreiser to John B. Watson and Joseph Cornell. The book explores the ways that advertising collaborated with other cultural institutions to produce what have become the dominant aspirations, anxieties, and even notions of personal identity in the twentieth-century United States. Moving from the carnivals and market fairs of Renaissance Europe to the traveling peddlers of nineteenth-century America, Jackson Lears shows how early advertisers encouraged a new kind of magical thinking, detached from religious traditions and geared to an emerging market society. While patent medicine advertising's promise of magical self-transformation and exotic sensuality posed challenges to moral standards, advertisers themselves eventually sought to contain the subversive potential of this promise even as they continued to conjure it up.
show more

Table of contents

* Introduction The Reconfiguration of Wealth: From Fecund Earth To Efficient Factory * The Lyric of Plenty * The Modernization of Magic * The Stabilization of Sorcery * The Disembodiment of Abundance The Containment Of Carnival: Advertising And American Social Values From The Patent Medicine Era To The Consolidation Of Corporate Power * The Merger of Intimacy and Publicity * The Perfectionist Project * The New Basis of Civilization * Trauma, Denial, Recovery Art, Truth, And Humbug: The Search For Form And Meaning In A Commodity Civilization * The Problem of Commercial Art in a Protestant Culture * The Courtship of Avant-Garde and Kitsch * The Pursuit of the Real * The Things Themselves
show more

About Jackson Lears

Jackson Lears is the author of No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920, and the editor (with Richard Fox) of The Culture of Consumption and The Power of Culture. He is professor of history at Rutgers University.
show more

Rating details

102 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 22% (22)
4 40% (41)
3 25% (26)
2 8% (8)
1 5% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X