Engineered to sell : European emigrés and the making of consumer capitalism / Jan L. Logemann.

Logemann, Jan L. [Browse]
  • Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2019.
  • ©2019
vii, 371 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


Summary note
Forever immortalized in the television series Mad Men, the mid-twentieth century marketing world influenced nearly every aspect of American culture-- music, literature, politics, economics, consumerism, race relations, gender, and more. Jan Logemann traces the transnational careers of consumer engineers in advertising, market research and commercial design who transformed capitalism, from the 1930s through the 1960s. He argues that the history of marketing consumer goods is not a story of American exceptionalism. Instead, the careers of immigrants point to the limits of the "Americanization" paradigm. First, Logemann explains the rise of a dynamic world of goods by emphasizing changes in marketing approaches increasingly tailored to consumers. Second, he looks at how and why consumer engineering was shaped by transatlantic exchanges. From Austrian psychologists and little-known social scientists to the illustrious Bauhaus artists, the migr s at the center of this story illustrate the vibrant cultural and commercial connections between metropolitan centers: Vienna and New York; Paris and Chicago; Berlin and San Francisco. These mid-century consumer engineers crossed national and disciplinary boundaries not only within arts and academia but also between governments, corporate actors, and social reform movements. By focusing on the transnational lives of migr consumer researchers, marketers, and designers, Engineered to Sell details the processes of cultural translation and adaptation that mark both the mid-century transformation of American marketing and the subsequent European shift to "American" consumer capitalism.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction: Consumer engineers and the transnational origins of consumer capitalism
  • The origins of “consumer engineering”: interwar consumer capitalism in transatlantic perspective
  • Section One: Transformations in marketing and consumer research. The rise of consumer engineering: American marketing at midcentury (1930s1960s)
  • The art of asking why: the “Vienna School” of market research and transfers in consumer psychology
  • From mass persuasion to engineered consent: the impact of “European” psychology on the cognitive turn in marketing thought
  • Hidden persuaders? Market researchers as “knowledge entrepreneurs” between business and the social sciences
  • Section Two: Designing for sustained demand. “Tastemakers” or “wastemakers”? Commercial design at midcentury (19301960)
  • The designer as marketing expert: European immigrants and the professionalization of industrial and graphic design in the United States
  • The commercialization of social engineering? Adapting radical design reform to American mass marketing
  • “Streamlining everything”: design, market research, and the postwar “American” world of goods
  • Section Three: Transatlantic return voyages. Bridging transatlantic divides: bringing consumer modernity “back” to Europe
  • Corporate America and the International Style: the transnational network of Knoll Associates between Europe and the United States
  • The “return” to Europe: emigrés as cultural translators and the transformation of postwar European marketing
  • Consumer engineering: challenges and legacies.
Other title(s)
  • European emigrés and the making of consumer capitalism
  • Engineered to sell : European emigrés & the making of consumer capitalism
  • European emigrés & the making of consumer capitalism
  • 9780226660011 ((cloth ; : alk. paper))
  • 022666001X ((cloth ; : alk. paper))
  • 9780226660158 ((pbk. ; : alk. paper))
  • 022666015X ((pbk. ; : alk. paper))
Statement on language in description
Princeton University Library aims to describe library materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. Read more...
Other views
Staff view

Supplementary Information