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The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators Paperback – July 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0252066597 ISBN-10: 0252066596

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252066596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252066597
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Arguably the best general history of advertising." -- New York Times Review of Books. "A fascinating account." -- Andrew Hacker, New York Times Book Review (front-page review)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-have resource for anybody in or thinking of dabbling in advertising. It's a veritable who's who of the movers and shakers in the industry.
Starting at advertising's humble beginnings, it covers most of the major successes and pitfalls, and sheds some light on how it modernized into the institution we love and hate today.
Nobody affiliated with the industry should be without this wonderful resource!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Fleege on August 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anybody who ever worked, or ever want to work a day in the advertising business must read this book. Media, account and creative people will enjoy it equally. You will gain tremendous insight and respect for our industry -- understanding where we've come from -- and appreciation of where we are today. Extremely entertaining. Full of wisdom and fascinating stories about the advertising forefathers and legends. Rightfully the most quoted book on advertising. Robert Fleege - fleege.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Magnussen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When the TV shows you a handsome, athletic, well-dressed man holding* a beer and being clutched by adoring women, do you think "If I drank that beer, I could be clutched by adoring women, too"?

Not me: I more often think "I wouldn't drink that cat-pee if you paid me".

But apparently a lot of people (males, anyway) do think this way, because the approach sells product. And the person who originated it seems to have been Helen Resor, who used it (with the sexes reversed) to sell Woodbury's Facial Soap in the 1920s.

The Odyssey of advertising from it's "Reason Why" début in the 19th century to the date of this book's publication (1984), via such stops as Freudian tunnellings into the consumer's (alleged) subconscious and panics over (putative) brain-washing, makes a fascinating tale; and Mr Fox is the ideal man to tell it, since a) he seems to know the topic backwards and forwards, and b) he really is a terrific writer.

Indeed, the first paragraph got me hooked:

"Practically everyone dislikes it. Advertising interrupts radio and television programs, crowds editorial matter off the pages of newspapers and magazines, disfigures city streets, defaces the countryside, and even lurks at eye level for tired, vulnerable standees on the subway. Nobody believes it, or at least admits to believing it. It usually appeals to the less agreeable aspects of human nature: greed, vanity, insecurity, competitiveness, materialism. At cocktail parties, people in the advertising business wince when asked what they do for a living.

But there it is, one of the dominant forces in twentieth-century America [...
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By Them on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let's not beat around the bush: This is a great, great book. It should be required reading by anyone in the advertising industry, by anyone who works with anyone in the advertising industry, and by anyone who has ever or might ever actually see an advertisement of any kind. The fact that that this "updated" version is over a decade and a half old as of this review (late 2011) should not dissuade you. For a comprehensive, insightful and well-written history of how people have tried to convince other people to buy things, nothing I have read beats it.

Now, if this were only a timeline of facts and figures about the men (and occasionally women) who created the advertising of America, it would be valuable. It offers introductions to the all but forgotten greats gone by - like Lasker, Powers, Hopkins, Resor - as well as the titans familiar to anyone who has watched Mad Men - such as Ogilvy, Bernbach, and Burnett. Fox explains what [to read the rest of this review, please visit: [...]]
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By Lawrence E. Cranfoed on August 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Great book on the early days of Advertising and how things have changed over time. This is must reading for anyone going into the Advertising or Marketing for that matter
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