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Vance Packard & American social criticism /
Daniel Horowitz.
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1994.
xviii, 375 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0807821411 (alk. paper)
More Details
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1994.
0807821411 (alk. paper)
general note
Title on half t.p.: Vance Packard and American social criticism.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [337]-359) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-10:
Horowitz (Smith College) argues that Vance Packard's social criticism embodies the "producer ethic" of his middle-class Methodist childhood in rural Pennsylvania: individuality, responsibility, community, and resistance to the temptations of luxury and immorality. This attitude led Packard to his major themes of the wastefulness of materialism, the decline of responsibility, and the threats to community. The bite in Packard's social criticism, Horowitz suggests, comes not only from his moralism but also from suppression of his independence during his journalistic career; his caution comes from a freelance writer's need to make a living. Because Packard gave Horowitz interviews and access to his papers, there are new biographical and intellectual nuggets here. But Horowitz's most interesting contribution is an attempt to determine Packard's place in the "canon" of recent American social criticism by describing the responses of the acolytes of the corporate dream and of the critics who dismiss Packard in favor of William F. Whyte on corporations, David Riesman on loneliness, Betty Friedan on individuality, Martin Luther King Jr. on race, or Rachel Carson on the environment. These descriptions raise Horowitz's book well above intellectual hagiography, although his claim that Packard set the scene for the sharper criticisms of others is likely to prove controversial. All levels. T. J. Knight; Colorado State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1994
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Growing Up Absurdp. 10
Starting Out in the Thirtiesp. 24
White Collarp. 42
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suitp. 59
The Medium is the Messagep. 78
Making Itp. 102
Marginal Man the Emergence of an American Social Criticp. 132
The Lonely Crowdp. 158
The Crack in the Picture Windowp. 179
A Station Wagon Driver in the Suburbp. 206
Future Shock, 1960-1968 the Pyramid Climbers, the Naked Society, and the Sexual Wildernessp. 223
Barbarians at the Gate, 1984-1989p. 272
Notesp. 283
Bibliographyp. 337
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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