Harper Academic

The Substance of Style

How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness

by Virginia Postrel

On Sale: 09/07/2004

Price: $15.99

The Substance of Style

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The Substance of Style

How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness

by Virginia Postrel

On Sale: 09/07/2004

Format:

Price: $15.99

About the Book

Whether it’s sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, consumers make purchasing decisions every day based on sensory experience. Aesthetic appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live, work, and spend. Drawing from fields as diverse as economics, fashion, real estate, politics and design, Postrel deftly chronicles culture’s aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society.

“Thanks to affluence and technology, among much else, the way things look matters as much to us now as what they do. . . . . Ms. Postrel makes a persuasive and well-researched case for the value of such magic. Far from being at odds with ‘substance,’ as various critics have argued, it has a meaning all its own.”

-Wall Street Journal

“Provocative. . . .Underlying Postrel’s trenchant social observations is a jaunty economic libertarianism. . . . She punctures the cult of authenticity . . . and demolishes the false dichotomy between substance and style.”

-Washington Post Book World

Critical Praise

“A brilliant analysis ... After reading The Substance of Style, the world will literally look different to you.” - Steven Pinker, Professor, MIT, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

“A profoundly important book. The topic is absurdly under-studied; and Postrel has turned in a magnificent performance.” - Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

“[Postrel] connects a million seemingly disparate dots into a fresh, clear-eyed, persuasive picture of our culture circa 2003.” - Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century

“What a great read! It will heighten your awareness of our newly sculpted aesthetic world.” - Karim Rashid, designer

“A work vast in its range, profound in its depth, rich in its detail.” - Robert Venturi, architect

“Marvelously informative…Brightly argued…Even when Postrel’s examples are familiar, the specifics can be eye-popping.…It’s groundbreaking.” - Atlantic Monthly

“Virginia Postrel . . . writes perceptively about everything on which her penetrating gaze alights.” - George F. Will, Washington Post

“Provocative. . . demolishes the false dichotomy between substance and style.” - Washington Post Book World

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060933852
  • ISBN 10: 0060933852
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 09/07/2004
  • Trimsize: 5.313 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 0.618 in (d)
  • Pages: 272
  • List Price: $15.99
  • BISAC1 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
  • BISAC2 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Consumer Behavior
  • BISAC3 : DESIGN / General