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In this signal work of history, Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lizabeth Cohen shows how the pursuit of prosperity after World War II. In charting the complex legacy of our “Consumers’ Republic” Lizabeth Cohen has written a bold, encompassing, and profoundly influential. Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic. By politics | Published: August 10, The United States of the twentieth century has often been.

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A Consumers’ Republic by Lizabeth Cohen | : Books

See 1 question about A Consumers’ Republic…. Beginning in Part II, “The Birth of a Consumers’ Republic,” Cohen documents how the citizen consumer’s “nemesis,” the “purchaser as citizen,” rose to prominence as the basis of what she calls the Consumers’ Republic.

In A C What is the meaning of citizenship? It’s not a perfect book; the alternation between her micro studies of New Jersey clearly home base for her research and generalizations about the U. Given this understanding of freedom and patriotism, one wonders if production outside of the system is considered subversive. The incredible amount of research and well thought out and supported thesis’ are worth five stars, but the writing brings it down to four stars.

Yet despite undeniable successes and unprecedented affluence, mass consumption also fostered economic inequality and the fracturing of society along gender, class, and racial lines. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Her chapter on consumer cultures and the shifts from mass market to segmented markets, and how producers grab a segment and begin to mold it via producing for it is fascinating. Cohen distinguishes between “citizen consumers,” who equated consumption with civic duty and used buy power as a weapon to achieve political and social change — and “purchaser consumers,” who simply mass consumed a variety of goods and services.

Much of the book is well written and flows well, but these occasional roadblocks require determination to get through and prove frustrating.


The rise of identity politics, the emphasis on personal choices, and the decline of electoral participation are linked by their connection to the segmentation of the body politic. I’d give a 3. While reading, many times I had t The subject matter of “A Consumers’ Republic” is engrossing and the book reveals many truths that are now forgotten and swept under the rug.

Lizabeth Cohen made her name with the New Deal, but it is this is by far the superior work, though I’m quite biased.

Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic.

Cohen also emphasizes the strength of mass marketing techniques to tap into the growing buying power of post-war America. Material goods came to embody the promise of America, and the power of consumers to purchase everything from vacuum cleaners republlic convertibles gave rise to the power of citizens to purchase political influence and effect social change.

This is a landmark book. In A Consumer’s Republic, author Lizbeth Cohen examines the way the burgeoning consumer market effected political activism.

They gave up Lizabeth Cohen made her name with the New Deal, but it is this is by far the superior work, though I’m quite biased. This carried over into politics as well.

Bill, which moderated the flow of veterans back into the labor pool through education and vocational training benefits, is left to the reader to determine.

For instance, in the case of suburbia, a broadly stratified urban space with its de jure Jim Crow racism is replaced by a newly, more rigidly segmented space, the suburbanized metropolis with its de facto racism. Of course, consumerism cannot republiic judged in terms of pure utility alone; the very concept, like that of the good life itself, entails a complex psychology as well as an ideological framework that must be analyzed.

Women also found increases in their status as purchasers. A genuine contribution to postwar American history. Cohen claims that malls had three major effects: This book explains how this came about.

As activists, they forced issues of Civil Rights onto businesses that would consymers. Using America as the example, you can see how we went from the tough industrial workhouses to the smart, office based service industry that A very exhaustive, well researched history of America’s post war consumer explosion.


These sums in fact came back to me in the form of existential credit.

The government aided veterans after WW2, but that aid went overwhelmingly to the well educated GI Bill for education did not help those who had not finished high school before the war and better capitalized.

May 29, Republuc rated it it was amazing. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed. Sep 30, AskHistorians added it Shelves: As Cohen clnsumers, however, the torrent is truly unleashed by the adoption of Keynesian economics during the Great Depression and Second World War, and furthered by the perpetuation of same not only in the initial postwar ear, but throughout the Cold War and beyond.

Read it Forward Read it first. Selected pages Page The entire project of attempting mass consumption comes to an end in the 70s and 80s as different economic ends were pursued.

Built on the Thematic Theme Framework.

Review of Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumers’ Republic.

They gradually transition from a white model demonstrating hair treatment lotion to a black model advertising products related to ‘natural’ hair. Suburbanization is a huge part of Cohen’s argument. Unfortuntately, Cohen’s writing often becomes convoluted and difficult to read due to frequent lengthy and difficult to follow sentences. The next section is on how African Americans utilized their power as consumers to force the stores that served them to also hire them as more than janitors, etc.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. It comes as no surprise that mass consumption requires complex systems of production, transportation, distribution, advertising, and waste disposal.