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Channels of Desire

Mass Images and the Shaping of American Consciousness

Channels of Desire by Stuart Ewen
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Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen offer a telling examination of the rise of mass-produced imagery in the United States, tracing the pivotal role that such images played in the genesis and development of the American imagination. Beginning with the rise of the machine and the emergence of consumerism as a common way of life, the authors lay a strong foundation for an understanding of the twentieth-century American media culture.

Spanning a wide range of fascinating subjects-movies, fashion, tabloid journalism-Ewen and Ewen offer forceful insights into the mechanisms that link alluring images and popular imagination to the entrenched structures of power. Channels of Desire seeks to broaden our understanding of the social history behind the apparent immortality of a consumer society-its universe of commodities, its priorities and social forms, and the modern consumer ethic that stresses images over substance, desire over satisfaction, and the individual over society.

University of Minnesota Press; September 1992
271 pages; ISBN 9780816683543
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Title: Channels of Desire
Author: Stuart Ewen; Elizabeth Ewen