Friday, November 21, 2008

Vance Packard

I just found out about this gentleman through a Wikipedia search related to planned obsolescence.

Vance Packard Publications:
  • 1957 The Hidden Persuaders - on the advertising industry - the first of a popular series of books on sociology topics (ISBN 0-671-53149-2)
  • 1959 The Status Seekers - describing American social stratification and behavior
  • 1960 The Waste Makers - criticizes planned obsolescence describing the impact of American productivity, especially on the national character
  • 1962 The Pyramid Climbers - describes the changing impact of American enterprise on managers, the structured lives of corporate executives and the conformity they need to advance in the hierarchy
  • 1972 A Nation of Strangers - about the attrition of communal structure through frequent geographical transfers of corporate executives
  • 1983 Our Endangered Children - discusses growing up in a changing world, warning that American preoccupation with money, power, status, and sex, ignored the needs of future generations
  • 1989 Ultra Rich: How Much Is Too Much? - examines the lives of thirty American multimillionaires and their extravagances.
Several of these titles are very interesting to me because of how timely the concepts are (given the fact that most of his observations and writings occured in the 1960's).

I'm going to start with his book: "The Waste Makers".

The concept of planned obsolescence really aggravates me... I like things built to last.

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