Land of Desire and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $5.55 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 17 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by QuibbleBooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Crossed out name on inside front cover. Mild edgewear on covers, pages clean and unmarked. Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping. Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed. Tracking number provided with every order.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture Paperback – September 6, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0679754114 ISBN-10: 0679754113 Edition: 1st Vintage Books Ed

Buy New
Price: $14.40
41 New from $7.73 64 Used from $4.94
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.40
$7.73 $4.94
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture + A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
Price for both: $28.47

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (September 6, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679754113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679754114
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This NBA nominee is an outstanding cultural history of America's turn-of-the-century transformation into a nation of consumers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

In an alternate history of modern American life from 1890 to 1927, Leach (History/Columbia; True Love and Perfect Union, 1980) offers an encompassing, learned, and fast-paced account of how entrepreneurs, manufacturers, bankers, clergymen, and government leaders produced a culture of consumers--as well as the rituals, morality, aesthetics, and institutions that identify the good with the goodies, acquisition with virtue. Innovative merchandising--initiated by the great department stores of the 1890's (Wanamaker's, Marshall Field, etc.) and extending in time to hotels, banks, public utilities, service industries, etc.--began with an excess of production: superfluous pianos, lamps, rugs, cheap jewelry, and food. To dispense with the surplus, merchant princes developed a technology of enticement, the arts of display--including posters, outdoor signs, light, color, glass, window trimming, packaging, catalogues, architecture, and, ultimately, an urban geography with entire shopping districts (epitomized in Manhattan in the showmanship of Times Square, the retail establishments of Fifth Avenue, the fashion and garment districts, and on Wall Street, the source of the financing). Beyond the visual were the rituals--holiday seasons, pageants, parades, children's culture--and the escalators and credit-granting through which department stores became democratized. Americans' getting and spending produced a standardization of taste and beauty, as well as colleges for business and design, fashion magazines, hotel chains, and intermediaries--brokers and agencies for everything from models to real estate. In 1932, Herbert Hoover's Department of Commerce and its imposing building in Washington made merchandising part of government--incarnating, as Leach sees it, the ethics and fantasies embodied in the Emerald City of The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum also wrote the definitive text on window trimming). Fascinating, detailed, and evangelical: a yellow brick road full of rare adventures, intriguing characters, and surprising vistas. (Twenty-four pages of photos--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tom McCarthy on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Ostensibly a history of the department store in America, this book is a revelatory primer for those wishing to understand the origins and growth of the culture of comsumerism in the United States. As Leach convincingly documents, consumerism is an artificial, carefully crafted construct clearly traceable to particular people and places in our history. Their paradigm of consumption, Leach further shows, is one that has come to consume American culture in general--and, increasingly, world cultures beyond it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alden Jenks on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't think I've read a better non-fiction work. The prodigious research is presented in a continuously diverting way. The evolution of Salesmanship in its many forms is explored in colorful depth: floor design, window design (Who knew that until the 1930s "all the show windows at Marshall Field's were covered on Sundays out of respect" for the founder's religiosity?), classified ads, mail-order catalogues. The paradigmatic figure of John Wanamaker is presented vividly and multi-dimensionally; anecdotal details along the way illuminate a whole period of American history I'd paid only scant attention to before. Thank you Mr. Leach, you've started a whole new reading list for me! In fact, my only criticism of the book is the lack of a bibliography. There are book (and journal and letter and interview) references among the copious footnotes, but no single list. The research Mr. Leach did is obviously staggering. How many of us have read "The Dry Goods Economist" or "The Show Window" - the latter founded and edited by L. Frank Baum -? This is a work animated by both a dedication to the highest principles of scholarship, and a passion for the subject that is (in my case at least) contagious.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rosa M. Giorgio on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found Leach's book very insightful and interesting. He thoroughly dissects and explains the history and creation of consumer culture in the U. S. during the 1880s-1920s. Every avenue involved in consumer culture is discussed in this easy to read text.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
W.R. Leach writes about the beginning of consumerism in the U.S. around 1910/20. He writes with much verve about his theme, which makes the book an ageeable read.
But for my taste the book is somewhat short on analysis. For example: there is much talk of the connection between selling and religion, but if this connection was by random or if there were some deeper links is left open.
If you are new to the subject of this book and you want an interesting read: get it. But be aware, the answers for a lot of questions this book poses are not to be found here.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David on April 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book will appeal mostly to progressives of the intellectual persuasion and people who have a preference for social democracy or whatever those who seek to find some compromise between the ethics and intents of socialism with the productiveness of capitalism - supporters of a left leaning mixed economy basically. However, for those who do not, it is good to be aware that there is mostly talk about just arbitrary things. A lot of times it seems that the author is more concerned with displaying his vast knowledge of the era than actually creating a comprehensive story about the rise of consumerist culture. There is a lot of talk of fashion, advertising, desire etc, but there is very little talk about the actual work of merchants, the execution of power or the actual process and logic behind the rise of consumerism.

At the end of the book, in his chapter on "Legacies", he writes about how many progressive intellectuals embraced the coming of the great depression because it lead to a decline in the momentum of the rise of big business; even though, although as he admits it ended up as nothing more that an a small obstacle. There's a point in the book, where the author referring to Lippmann brings up the fact that most of the rise in big business was due mostly to laws, it is telling that the author didn't expand more on this, but rather talked endlessly about colors, fashion and basically the "brainwashing" and "childishness" indoctrinated into mass culture. It has always tickled my fancy that the greatest supporters of the public and defenders of masses, think so lowly of them, yet so highly of themselves.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably one of the most thorough and comprehensive books ever written on the roots of American commercial manipulation during these formative years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?