International Relations Essay

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Irresistible Empire Irresistible Empire America’s Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe VICTORIA DE GRAZIA The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts • London, England 2005 Copyright © 2005 by Victoria de Grazia All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data De Grazia, Victoria. Irresistible empire : America’s advance through twentieth-century Europe / Victoria de Grazia. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-674-01672-6 (alk. paper) 1. Consumer behavior—Europe—History—20th century. 2. Consumers—Europe—Attitudes—History—20th century. 3. Consumption (Economics)—Europe—History—20th century. 4. Social values—Europe—History—20th century. 5. Social values—United States—History—20th century. 6. United States—Civilization—20th century. I. Title. HF5415.33.E85D4 2005 306.3′094′0904—dc22 2004059943 To Al and Jill on the shores of Lake Michigan Contents Introduction: The Fast Way to Peace 1. The Service Ethic How Bourgeois Men Made Peace with Babbittry 1 15 2. A Decent Standard of Living How Europeans Were Measured by the American Way of Life 75 3. The Chain Store How Modern Distribution Dispossessed Commerce 130 4. Big-Brand Goods How Marketing Outmaneuvered the Marketplace 184 5. Corporate Advertising How the Science of Publicity Subverted the Arts of Commerce 226 6. The Star System How Hollywood Turned Cinema Culture into Entertainment Value 284 7. The Consumer-Citizen How Europeans Traded Rights for Goods 336 8. Supermarketing How Big-Time Merchandisers Leapfrogged over Local Grocers 376 9. A Model Mrs. Consumer How Mass Commodities Settled into Hearth and Home 416 Conclusion: How the Slow Movement Put Perspective on the Fast Life Notes Bibliographic Essay Acknowledgments Index 458
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