Culture In An Age Of Money / Edition 1

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As the Reagan administration began, Nancy Reagan chose new china for the White House—at a cost of $209,508. The pattern for the decade was struck. As the Reagans made wealth seem glamorous, what followed was a culture dominated by a belief in the “magic of the marketplace.” Money words became the key language for the eighties, and they signaled a culture with an insatiable need to proclaim its triumphs. In the wake of the Reagan years, fifteen brilliant essayists survey the kind of culture created by Reagan politics and Reagan ideology. From architecture to the yuppie ascendancy, including politics, film, art, literature, finance, fashion, religion, and civil rights, eighties’ culture is explored with telling analysis and penetrating wit. When most of these essays first appeared in Dissent magazine, the Village Voice called them a “must read.” We are not likely to get a sharper appraisal of our contemporary culture than this. The contributors are William Adams, Laura Bergheim, Mark Caldwell, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Todd Gitlin, Josephine Hendin, Hendrik Hertzberg, Irving Howe, Ross Miller, Nicolaus Mills, Robert Reich, Herman Schwartz, Debora Silverman, Alessandra Stanley, and Sean Wilentz.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Amusing, caustic, and cleverly written.
— Herbert Mitgang
Daniel Bell
Curious and tantalizing...a benchmark not of the present but of history.
The New York Times - Herbert Mitgang
Amusing, caustic, and cleverly written.
New York Times
Amusing, caustic, and cleverly written.
— Herbert Mitgang
The Progressive
A stinging indictment of the Reagan era for its effects on both highbrow and popular culture...The targets are many and the attacks are proudly partisan.
Library Journal
All but a few of the 15 essays that form this book originally appeared in the left-of-center opinion magazine Dissent. Each essay critically examines touchstones of what editor Mills calls the ``conservative culture of the 1980s.'' Among the best pieces are Herman Schwartz's ``Civil Rights and the Reagan Court,'' Robert Reich's look at corporate takeovers in ``A Culture of Paper Tigers,'' Sean Wilentz's profile of Jerry Falwell in ``The Trials of Televangelism,'' and Mark Caldwell's ``The Literature of AIDS.'' This intelligent collection nicely complements John Taylor's Circus of Ambition ( LJ 8/89), another questioning look back at the Eighties. Recommended especially for libraries lacking Dissent. -- Kenneth F. Kister, Tampa, Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929587714
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/25/1991
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 1,448,121
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicolaus Mills teaches literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Among his books are The New Journalism and The Great School Bus Controversy. He is at work on a book about the Mississippi Freedom Summer.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Culture of Triumph and the Spirit of the Times 11 Part 2 Blips, Bites and Savvy Talk 29 Part 3 Putting on the Glitz: Architecture After Postmodernism 47 Part 4 The Short Happy Life of the American Yuppie 66 Part 5 Pluggies 83 Part 6 A Culture of Paper Tigers 95 Part 7 Blackness Without Blood 109 Part 8 Civil Rights and the Reagan Court 130 Part 9 The Trials of Televangelism 142 Part 10 Vietnam Screen Wars 156 Part 11 China, Bloomie's and the Met 175 Part 12 The Literature of AIDS 201 Part 13 Fictions of Acquisition 216 Part 14 The End of the Common Reader 234 Part 15 Presidency by Ralph Lauren: Closing the Decade in Style 246
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