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The Conquest of Cool - Business Culture, Counterculture & the Rise of Hip Consumerism (Paper) [Anglais] [Broché]

Thomas Frank

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Description de l'ouvrage

1 décembre 1998
While the youth counterculture remains the most evocative and best-remembered symbol of the cultural ferment of the 1960s, the revolution that shook American business during those boom years has gone largely unremarked. In this fascinating and revealing study, Thomas Frank shows how the youthful revolutionaries were joined-and even anticipated -by such unlikely allies as the advertising industry and the men's clothing business." [Thomas Frank is] perhaps the most provocative young cultural critic of the moment." -Gerald Marzorati, New York Times Book Review" An indispensable survival guide for any modern consumer." -Publishers Weekly, starred review" Frank makes an ironclad case not only that the advertising industry cunningly turned the countercultural rhetoric of revolution into a rallying cry to buy more stuff, but that the process itself actually predated any actual counterculture to exploit." -Geoff Pevere, Toronto Globe and Mail "The Conquest of Cool helps us understand why, throughout the last third of the twentieth century, Americans have increasingly confused gentility with conformity, irony with protest, and an extended middle finger with a populist manifesto. . . . His voice is an exciting addition to the soporific public discourse of the late twentieth century." -T. J. Jackson Lears, In These Times" An invaluable argument for anyone who has ever scoffed at hand-me-down counterculture from the '60s. A spirited and exhaustive analysis of the era's advertising." -Brad Wieners, Wired Magazine" Tom Frank is . . . not only old-fashioned, he's anti-fashion, with a place in his heart for that ultimate social faux pas, leftist politics." -Roger Trilling, Details

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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
For as long as America is torn by culture wars, the 1960s will remain the historical terrain of conflict. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.9 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
38 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ... 12 avril 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
in fact, Frank's point is that advertising did NOT necessarily co-opt counterculture. if he labors over anything, it's his assertion that the Creative Revolution in business practically preceded the existence of a widespread counter-culture movement. as far as his scorn, it was rather obviously directed only at the baby-boomers and historians with bad memories...the ones who insist that 60s youth culture was completely non-commercial, the ones who need to believe in The Man (especially the man in the gray suit).
i thought that the book was extremely engaging. frank is very insightful, and his writing is entertaining. i laughed a lot, and said, "Right, exactly!" so many times. i did not get any sense that frank had any real trouble with the conquest of cool or even consumer culture. he develops his thesis so precisely that there was no room for censure. as far as offering a solution--the book doesn't present any Problem to be solved. it's an examination of the relationship between commercial and counter culture. Most importantly, it's a rethinking of that relationship through the lens of the late 50s and 60s.
37 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Required Reading in Today's Corporate World 25 novembre 2000
Par Parker Benchley - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Thomas Frank has written one of the most important, and yet baffling, works on understanding the Megamachine and like others of his type (Lewis Mumford, Jacques Ellul), it will strike so close to home as to be actually uncomfortable to read and digest and still view the world as before. The thesis that Madison Ave. invented the counter-culture by co-opting the hip underground culture of the time is both brilliant and obvious; so obvious, in fact, that its very simplicity caused it to go unnoticed for years. That is the very essence of the Megamachine, the ability to absorb humanist and revolutionary trends, only to revise them in the very image of the machine and counter to their intended purposes. Only when up against another machine (fascism, Soviet Marxism, Chinese Marxism) does the Megamachine have to posit counter values. (i.e., Hollywood propaganda: "Why We Fight," Red Scare films, why Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as Dresden, were necessary for freedom, etc.)
I remember an interview with a rock star of the 60s who boasted that by publishing his music the Establishment was laying the very seeds for its own destruction. Nonsense. Nothing truly subversive would ever be allowed to pass through those hallowed commercial halls. Frank's book shows just how insidious the Megamachine is in its cultural hegemony.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Book 8 août 2002
Par David C. Anderson - Publié sur
An excellent examination of consumer culture and the way that corporate America has tried to deal with, understand, and co-opt youth culture (or did youth culture co-opt advertising?) Frank gets to the bottom of it all in an always entertaining look at advertising from the Madison Avenue years through the sixties. His examinations of various ad campaigns - such as Volvo who insisted in their ads that their cars were ugly and at least not as filled with defects as the cars they used to make - are insightful and well researched. In fact, this book is a necessary primer for anyone doing research on youth culture. It helped to change the way that I think about these issues and has become a text that I refer to often.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 How do you co-opt a revolution you invented? 2 septembre 2006
Par Aaron Swartz - Publié sur
Being familiar with Thomas Frank's cultural criticism of the 1990s (see his brilliant _One Market Under God_, along with the two _Baffler_ anthologies), when I saw the title of this volume I immediately assumed it was yet another expose of how the culture industry co-opts the trends and fashions of genuinely cool youth. I was completely wrong -- what Frank has done is far more fascinating.

In this volume, Frank goes back to the "template" of all modern stories of revolution, the 1960s, and takes a look at things from the point of view of the corporate executives. What he finds is shocking: executives weren't trying to co-opt the counterculture language of revolution, they were actually there first! They genuinely believed in shaking things up and continued to promote these ideas even when the public wasn't into them.

Growing out of his dissertation, the book is a little more dry than some of Frank's other work, but his brilliant prose shines through the academic form. Through meticulous historical research, excerpts from period documents and books, and interview with the players involved, Frank reconstructs the story of the generation, telling the tales of ad executives who quit The Organization to pursue their creative whims and the fashion planners desperate to kill the gray flannel suit. The result is a book that changes the way you think about the generation.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting look at the origins of "hip" as a sales tool. 16 avril 1998
Par Douglas Payne - Publié sur
In "The Conquest of Cool," reporter Thomas Frank writes of the evolution in the advertising industry from the rigid science and philosophy espoused by past masters like David Ogilvy to the creative, rule-breaking, no-rules era (about 1959 to about 1970) begun by Doyle, Dane and Bernbach's revolutionary Volkswagen print ads, which were introduced in 1959. Frank's text shows how advertising's images of consumption evolved from phony promises of a better life for white, nuclear families to the hip-based brand of product cool that still exists today. Eventually, Frank gets to what this reader assumed to be his point: advertising's co-optation of counterculture's cool and the way both groups influenced each other. But he merely asserts this radical shift in advertising (truly the bellwether of contemporary culture) happened overnight and illustrates his points with examples from the cola and menswear industries. But rampant generalization doesn't spoil Frank's fascinating dissertation. He's done his homework, speaks passionately about his subject and maintains an unusual conversational approach (half academic, half deranged fan). Once the reader forgives Frank's multitude of overgeneralizations and the way he casually mixes media (in an era where distinctions became quite noticeable), there is actually a lot to consider and much to enjoy in "The Conquest of Cool." A special bonus for ad-addicts is the 19 print ads reproduced in the center of the book.
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