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The Business of Holidays
     

The Business of Holidays

by Maud Lavin (Editor)
 

Holiday celebrations in the United States are a major force driving the nation's approximately $3 trillion retail economy. The commercial culture of holidays extends from the traditional — decorations, costumes, and cards — to the immaterial and ephemeral — phone calls, airline tickets, and department store bills. Simultaneously colorful presentation

Overview

Holiday celebrations in the United States are a major force driving the nation's approximately $3 trillion retail economy. The commercial culture of holidays extends from the traditional — decorations, costumes, and cards — to the immaterial and ephemeral — phone calls, airline tickets, and department store bills. Simultaneously colorful presentation and careful analysis, The Business of Holidays interprets holiday commerce and design, corporate culture, and tradition (invented and inherited). This volume consists of more than thirty-five essays arranged according to the calendar year, from New Year's Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and explores longstanding holiday images, such as Santa Claus and shamrocks, as well as quirkier aspects of visual culture. The rites that surround these special days have been adopted, or even invented by, the pervasive marketing that surrounds them to such an extent that the celebration of holidays and the business of holidays have become inseparable.

Editorial Reviews

Richard B. Woodward
Consumerism in defense of liberty is no crime in America. Indeed, one of the subtexts in The Business of Holidays, the glossy collection of amusing, cynical essays edited by Maud Lavin, is that our grossly commercial approach to celebrations, sacred or profane, may be crass, but is ultimately salutary. Entwining ethnic and religious differences with the ritual of spending or making money, our motley calendar of holidays -- Groundhog Day, Presidents' Day, April Fool's Day, Mother's Day, Gay Pride Day, Labor Day, Ramadan, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa -- is a testament to the bottomless ingenuity of capitalism.
— The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580931502
Publisher:
The Monacelli Press
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
7.45(w) x 9.95(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Maud Lavin is associate professor of visual and critical studies and art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Clean New World: Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design and Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Höch.

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