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From the Publisher
"A lively and insightful new book. . . . Using an evenhanded journalistic approach and remarkably revealing interviews, Dubin documents how the institutions, run by idealistic and politically naive curators and exploited by conservative opponents, were marred by allowing minor conflicts to blow up into front-page stories. . . . Show[s] that while museum may be adept at producing spectacular displays of propaganda, they are often incapable of predicting the reactions of their audiences."
"Displays of Power is contentious, irreverent, and entertaining, but it is also absolutely serious. . . . Is the book useful or intimidating? Is it a cautionary tale or a diatribe against museum complacency? I believe that it is all of these things. . . . A cautionary tale told boisterously and wittily."
"Dubin's book thoughtfully examines all facets of the Brooklyn confrontation without assigning blame. Instead, he gives us a case study that we can learn from."
"Fascinating. . . Walking the fine line of consultation versus freedom of thought is an issue for every curator, every director. If this book is not on your shelf you are missing one of the key maps to the territory in which you travel."
-Museum National, Aug. 2001,
"A signal contribution to the 'culture wars,' Dubin dispassionately examines the contemporary American museum as a battleground for the control of expression where elitist and populist camps clash over politically sensitive art. . . . His provocative study gives voice to curators and partisans on all points of the spectrum, making his book something of a lively free-for-all. . . . Cogently demonstrates that modern museums are crucibles for change rather than pleasant refuges, and that they are expanding the public's awareness that we live in an increasingly multicultural society and a multinational world."