From Submarines to Suburbs Selling a Better America, 1939-1959

ISBN-10: 0821416782
ISBN-13: 9780821416785
Edition: 2006
List price: $32.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: During World War II, U.S. businesses devised marketing strategies that encouraged consumers to believe their country’s wartime experience would launch a better America. Advertisements and promotional articles celebrated the immense industrial output  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 7/31/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

During World War II, U.S. businesses devised marketing strategies that encouraged consumers to believe their country’s wartime experience would launch a better America. Advertisements and promotional articles celebrated the immense industrial output that corporations achieved during the war. These commercial messages positioned wartime technologies and corporate expertise as the means to streamline America and invent a socially hygienic future free from poverty, slums, drudgery, filth, and—for some businessmen—the New Deal administration. From Submarines to Suburbs surveys the development, strategy, and effect of these campaigns over a span of twenty pivotal years. Cynthia Lee Henthorn takes a close look at how pre-fabricated suburban houses, high-tech kitchens, and miracle products developed from war-related industries were promoted as the hygienic solutions for establishing this better America, one led by the captains of free enterprise. As Henthorn demonstrates, wartime advertising and marketing strategies tying consumer prosperity to war were easily adapted in the Cold War era, when a symbiotic relationship between military standing and standards of living intensified in a culture dependent on defense spending. Were the efforts to engineer a better America successful? Using documentary evidence in the form of numerous advertisements, From Submarines to Suburbs stands as a significant contribution to understanding how today’s “better” America evolved.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: Legacy of the Postwar Commercial Fallout
Mobilization: The Arsenal of Domesticity
Weapons of Mass Disorder: Impediments to Mobilization
Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Mobilization through Symbol Management
Positioning Machine Age Heroes and Wartime Types
Postwar Planning: Profits from Symbolism
Glimpses into a "Better America"
Home Front War: The Campaign to Save the American Way
Hygienic Solutions for the "House of Tomorrow"
Postwar Progress: Myth or Reality?
Wartime Skeptics and the "World of Tomorrow"
What Did Happen to the Dreamworld?: Realities of the Postwar Commercial Fallout
The Cold War's Commercial Fallout
Afterword: The "Better America" Today
Notes
Sources
Archival Collections
Bibliography
Index

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