Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism by Gary CrossConsumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism by Gary Cross

Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast Capitalism

byGary Cross

Hardcover | September 8, 2015

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Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. For many of us, modern memory is shaped less by a longing for the social customs and practices of the past or for family heirlooms handed down over generations and more by childhood encounters with ephemeral commercial goods and fleeting media moments in our age of fast capitalism. This phenomenon has given rise to communities of nostalgia whose members remain loyal to the toys, television, and music of their youth. They return to the theme parks and pastimes of their upbringing, hoping to reclaim that feeling of childhood wonder or teenage freedom.

Consumed nostalgia took definite shape in the 1970s, spurred by an increase in the turnover of consumer goods, the commercialization of childhood, and the skillful marketing of nostalgia. Gary Cross immerses readers in this fascinating and often delightful history, unpacking the cultural dynamics that turn pop tunes into oldies and childhood toys into valuable commodities. He compares the limited appeal of heritage sites such as Colonial Williamsburg to the perpetually attractive power of a Disney theme park and reveals how consumed nostalgia shapes how we cope with accelerating change.

Today nostalgia can be owned, collected, and easily accessed, making it less elusive and often more fun than in the past, but its commercialization has sometimes limited memory and complicated the positive goals of recollection. By unmasking the fascinating, idiosyncratic character of modern nostalgia, Cross helps us better understand the rituals of recall in an age of fast capitalism.

Gary Cross is Distinguished Professor of Modern History at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of a dozen historical books on childhood, consumption, technology, popular culture, and work, notably Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity; The Cute and the Cool: Wondrous Innocence and Modern American Children's Culture;...
Title:Consumed Nostalgia: Memory in the Age of Fast CapitalismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:September 8, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023116758X

ISBN - 13:9780231167581

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Our Nostalgic Novelty Culture1. Guys Toys and "Girls" Dolls2. Lovin' That '57 Chevy (or Whatever Was Your Favorite Car at Seventeen)3. (Re-)Living That Golden Decade4. Leaving It to Beaver and Retro TV5. Give Me That Old-Time Radio6. Dilemmas of Heritage in an Era of Consumed Nostalgia7. Pilgrimages, Souvenirs, and Memory at DisneyConclusion. Where We've Been, Where We Might GoNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

An important addition to the growing body of literature on nostalgia.