Irresistible empire : America's advance through twentieth-century Europe / Victoria de Grazia.
Publication year: 2005.
Call Number D4 2005
Media class: Book
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
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The most significant conquest of the twentieth century may well have been the triumph of American consumer society over Europe's bourgeois civilization. It is this little-understood but world-shaking campaign that unfolds in de Grazia's account of how the American standard of living defeated the European way of life and achieved the global cultural hegemony that is both its great strength and its key weakness today. Tracing the peculiar alliance that arrayed New World salesmanship, statecraft, and standardized goods against the Old World's values of status, craft, and good taste, de Grazia describes how all alternative strategies fell before America's consumer-oriented capitalism--first the bourgeois lifestyle, then the Third Reich's command consumption, and finally the grand experiment of Soviet-style socialist planning.--From publisher description.
The fast way to peace -- The service ethic : how bourgeois men made peace with Babbittry -- A decent standard of living : how Europeans were measured by the American way of life -- The chain store : how modern distribution dispossessed commerce -- Big-brand goods : how marketing outmaneuvered the marketplace -- Corporate advertising : how the science of publicity subverted the arts of commerce -- The star system : how Hollywood turned cinema culture into entertainment value -- The consumer-citizen : how Europeans traded rights for goods -- Supermarketing : how big-time merchandisers leapfrogged over local grocers -- A model Mrs. Consumer : how mass commodities settled into hearth and home -- How the slow movement put perspective on the fast life.
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