An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America

By Gary Cross | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Promises of More, 1930-1960

Nothing speaks more to the power of consumerism than its hold on the American psyche during the Depression and World War II. Despite joblessness and wartime austerity, ordinary Americans held tight to old consuming habits and dreams. They clung to their “luxuries” or longed for their return. Even though economic collapse in the 1930s and diversion of commodities to the war effort in the 1940s dramatically reduced personal spending, American business continued to seek new ways and new things to sell consumers. In spite of challenges to the social order, most Americans continued to define themselves and their relationships with others through consumer goods. After the war, Americans did not simply pick up where they left off before the Depression. They fulfilled the dreams that the years of hardship had nourished. The postwar period was an era of unprecedented prosperity, built on an extraordinary, fortuitous confluence of economic and social opportunities. In the generation after 1945, Americans celebrated that prosperity with exuberant spending on cars, houses, and appliances. This consumerism reflected often confused hopes and fears: desires for both innovation and tradition, participation and privacy. Most of all, it confirmed a form of domestic consumption that today we associate with the 1950s, but that in fact had roots in the longings of the 1930s. Through the ups and downs of the years between 1930 and i960, consumption remained at the center of the American experience.

In many ways, this is ironic. The economic and military crises of this period produced profound political upheaval. The election of Franklin D.

-67-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Irony of the Century 1
  • Chapter 2 - Setting the Course, 1900-1930 17
  • Chapter 3 - Promises of More, 1930-1960 67
  • Chapter 4 - Coping with Abundance 111
  • Chapter 5 - A New Consumerism, 1960-1980 145
  • Chapter 6 - Markets Triumphant, 1980-2000 193
  • Chapter 7 - An Ambiguous Legacy 233
  • Notes 253
  • Index 307
  • The Politics of the Asian Economic Crisis 323
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 323

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.