Populuxe by Thomas Hine

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Author
Thomas Hine
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Book review

The decade from 1954 to 1964 was one of America's great shopping sprees: never before were so many people able to acquire so many things, and never before was there such choice! These were the years when the United States was virtually unchallenged as a world power, the economy was booming, and the country reveled in a kind of innocent hedonism. It was the era of the newly created world of suburbia, where everything a family owned was provisional: even if it didn't wear out, one always had the hope of being able to move up the ladder to something better. Thomas Hine calls it "Populuxe"--populism and popularity and luxury, plus a totally unnecessary "e" to give it a little class; the word itself as synthetic as the world it describes. By examining the remarkable objects of this time and the life they represent, Hine takes us on an instructive, entertaining tour of this rather peculiar Golden Age. Whether you're a design nut or an appreciator of the defining era of American kitsch, Populuxe is sure to provide hours of insight and fun.


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