Today's guest is Lizabeth Cohen, the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies in the History Department at Harvard University. We discuss her classic work A Consumers Republic: The Politics of Consumption in Postwar America, which argues that in post-war America, the act of consuming was seen as a virtuous contribution to the public good. But the model had inherent limits in the race, gender, and class dynamics of the era, especially visible in housing, suburbanization, and the market segmentation of advertising, which ultimately limited that model of economic culture by the 1970s. We also briefly touch on her most recent book, Saving America’s Cities, which re-examines postwar urban development corporations.
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Cohen's faculty profile: https://history.fas.harvard.edu/people/lizabeth-cohen
Consume her classic book here: https://www.amazon.com/Consumers-Republic-Politics-Consumption-Postwar/dp/0375707379
Or develop an appreciation for her most recent work here: https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Americas-Cities-Struggle-Suburban/dp/0374254087