Why are our lives filled with so much stuff? In Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America (U Chicago Press, 2023), Wendy Woloson, Professor and Chair in the Department of History at Rutgers University, tells the history of these objects and things, from the early years of peddlers through to modern gadgets, and everything in between. In telling this story the book tells a history of America itself, looking at the rise of consumerism, advertising, television, and corporate life, as well as tracking changes in morals, sentiments, humour, and personal habits. Packed with brilliant details, and sweeping in scope, the book will be widely read across the humanities and social sciences, as well as by anyone seeking to understand the modern world.
Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield.