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Selling Modernity: Advertising in Twentieth-century Germany

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The sheer intensity and violence of Germany's twentieth-century transformations - through the end of an empire, two world wars, two democracies, and two dictatorships - provides a unique opportunity to assess the power and endurance of commercial imagery in the most extreme circumstances. "Selling Modernity" places advertising and advertisements in this tumultuous historical setting, exploring such themes as the relationship between advertising and propaganda in Nazi Germany, the influence of the United States on German advertising, the use of advertising to promote mass consumption in West Germany, and the ideological uses and eventual prohibition of advertising in East Germany. While the essays are informed by the burgeoning literature on consumer society, "Selling Modernity" focuses on the actors who had the greatest stake in successful merchandising: company managers, advertising executives, copywriters, graphic artists, market researchers, and salespeople, all of whom helped shaped the depiction of a company's products, reputation, and visions of modern life. The contributors consider topics ranging from critiques of capitalism triggered by the growth of advertising in the 1890s to the racial politics of Coca-Cola's marketing strategies during the Nazi era, and from the post-1945 career of an erotica entrepreneur to a federal anti-drug campaign in West Germany. Whether examining the growing fascination with racialized discourse reflected in early-twentieth-century professional advertising journals or the post-war efforts of Lufthansa to lure holiday and business travellers back to the country, the contributors reveal advertising's central role in debates about culture, business, politics, and society in twentieth-century Germany.

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Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Pamela E. Swett et al.
Binding Paperback
Condition New
Pages 364
ISBN-13 9780822340690
Publisher Duke University Press


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