5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
This is a book of signal importance. Daniel Horowitz has, in the past, provided us with eyeopening views and refreshing interpretations of questions concerning consumption, affluence, and wonderfully insightful biographies of Betty Friedan and Vance Packard. Consuming Pleasures, however, is his masterpiece. It is a magisterial look at the ways in which intellectuals in both Europe and the United States dismissed, interpreted, and celebrated popular culture from the 1940s through almost the present. As a historian of a certain age, I often watch my colleagues turn various eras of my life into history with great trepidation. Like a veteran reading about war, my usual reaction is--they don't get it. Horowitz not only gets it, but for the first time on many issues and on the whole sweep of an era, I find myself saying, upon finishing chapter after chapter of this book--Now I get it! Superb scholarship, clear writing, and acute observation make this book a must read for anyone interested in how we have come to view our everyday lives and those who have shaped that vision.