As we have learned over this week, the United States rapidly changed over the course of the first half of the twentieth century. Transforming from a mostly rural, second-rate global power into the largest economic force in the world and, eventually, a geopolitical superpower. In her book Consumer’s Republic, Lizabeth Cohen identifies “mass consumption” as playing a critical role in America’s rise to global economic, social, and political preeminence. The dynamic of mass consumption, Cohen concludes, informs every aspect of American society in the second half of the twentieth century, from economics to race, gender to geopolitics.
For today’s forum, I want you to drill down into one particular time period and analyze how mass consumption affected politics and society in that era. First, choose one of the following time periods:
-The 1920s and 1930s,
-World War II,
Then, write a post that traces how mass consumption informed politics and culture in that period. Draw from the Cohen book as well as lectures in class to inform a paper that analyzes both what mass consumption was in that time period as well as what it did. Be sure to both define how mass consumption operated in that period (what did consuming look like? What types of things were consumed?) as well as the effects that mass consumption had on society and culture.
!!! Important!!! Please use Liz Cohen, “A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America” as your source!!!
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