Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890-1945 / Edition 1

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Overview

At the turn of the twentieth century, an emerging consumer culture in the United States promoted constant spending to meet material needs and develop social identity and self-cultivation. McGovern examines the key players active in shaping this cultural evolution: advertisers and consumer advocates. The result, says McGovern, was a redefinition of the citizen as consumer. The articulation of an "American Way of Life" in the Depression and World War II ratified consumer abundance as the basis of a distinct American culture and history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Masterful. . . . Powerfully argued and deeply researched."
Journal of Contemporary History

"Thoroughly researched, deeply grounded in archival collections, iconography, and secondary literature, and wonderfully illustrated with telling advertising imagery."
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"McGovern's long awaited book rewards our patience as scholars with its exemplary study of how we lost our patience as a polity of consumers."
American Historical Review

"A finely wrought, lavishly illustrated volume. . . . Highly recommended."
CHOICE

"The latest addition to the important new literature on the political economy of consumer capitalism. . . . Represents a sturdy contribution to our thinking about what is arguably the most important question in contemporary American history."
Indiana Magazine of History

"Provides a welcome addition to the canon of works on mass and consumer culture. . . . A meticulous analysis into the participation of two groups of people that have been instrumental in shaping the relationships between consumers. . . . Promises to provide fertile ground for discussion."
Winterthur Portfolio

"Particularly valuable in that McGovern argues persuasively."
American Journalism

"This is a wonderful book, brilliantly researched and elegantly written.

George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara"

"A fascinating intellectual journey. . . . a compelling story of American citizenship.

Jean-Christophe Agnew, Yale University"

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807856765
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles F. McGovern is associate professor of American studies and history at the College of William and Mary and a former curator at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. He is coeditor of Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century.

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