Shannan ClarkApr 6, 2021
The Making of the American Creative Class
New York's Culture Workers and Twentieth-Century Consumer Capitalism
Oxford University Press 2020
During the middle decades of the twentieth century, the production of America’s consumer culture was centralized in New York to an extent unparalleled in the history of the United States. Every day tens of thousands of writers, editors, artists, performers, technicians, and secretaries made advertisements, produced media content, and designed the shape and feel of the consumer economy. While this centre of creativity has often been portrayed as a smoothly running machine, within these offices many white-collar workers challenged the managers and executives who directed their labours.
Shannan Clark. author of The Making of the American Creative Class: New York's Culture Workers and 20th-Century Consumer Capitalism (Oxford UP, 2020), speaks with Pierre d’Alancaisez about the origins of the creative class, their labour union struggles and successes, the role of the Works Projects Administration, and institutions like the Design Laboratory and Consumer Union which foretell the experiences of today’s culture workers.
Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional.