In Praise of Commercial Culture

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9780674001886: In Praise of Commercial Culture

Does a market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the current intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favorable attitude toward the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting a plurality of co-existing artistic visions, providing a steady stream of new and satisfying creations, supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Contemporary culture, Cowen argues, is flourishing in its various manifestations, including the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, and the cinema.

Successful high culture usually comes out of a healthy and prosperous popular culture. Shakespeare and Mozart were highly popular in their own time. Beethoven's later, less accessible music was made possible in part by his early popularity. Today, consumer demand ensures that archival blues recordings, a wide array of past and current symphonies, and this week's Top 40 hit sit side by side in the music megastore. High and low culture indeed complement each other.

Cowen's philosophy of cultural optimism stands in opposition to the many varieties of cultural pessimism found among conservatives, neo-conservatives, the Frankfurt School, and some versions of the political correctness and multiculturalist movements, as well as historical figures, including Rousseau and Plato. He shows that even when contemporary culture is thriving, it appears degenerate, as evidenced by the widespread acceptance of pessimism. He ends by considering the reasons why cultural pessimism has such a powerful hold on intellectuals and opinion-makers.

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About the Author:

Tyler Cowen is Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

From Library Journal:

When you admire a poem, painting or piece of music, do you wonder how these "works of art" came about? To answer this question, Cowen (economics, George Mason Univ.) examines the relationship of artists through history to the market forces that helped foster them. Not every artist was supported by a Medici or a Rockefeller, but Cowen argues that capitalism's support of culture can be traced far back. He uses as his example the invention of the printing press, which in a remarkably unsupportable conjecture he maintains "paved the way for classical music" by enabling composers to record their notes mechanically and sell their sheet music. Unfortunately, in this discussion he totally discounts the importance of engraving by hand, and his examination of music centers mostly on composers and practically ignores the musicians. Cowen's book at least gives weight to the ongoing arts debate by citing the worsening plight of artists. But he doesn't relate this point to his general thesis, and his book reads too much like a textbook, with patches of lifeless prose, mountains of statistics, and forests of footnotes. One can almost hear the undergraduates groan. For larger academic libraries.ARichard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, DC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Tyler Cowen
Editorial: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0674001885 ISBN 13: 9780674001886
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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Does the market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the late 1990s intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favourable attitude towards the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist, Martin Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780674001886

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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Does the market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the late 1990s intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favourable attitude towards the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist, Martin Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780674001886

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Descripción Harvard University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 288 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.1in. x 0.8in.Does a market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity This book seeks to redress the current intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favorable attitude toward the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting a plurality of co-existing artistic visions, providing a steady stream of new and satisfying creations, supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Contemporary culture, Cowen argues, is flourishing in its various manifestations, including the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, and the cinema. Successful high culture usually comes out of a healthy and prosperous popular culture. Shakespeare and Mozart were highly popular in their own time. Beethovens later, less accessible music was made possible in part by his early popularity. Today, consumer demand ensures that archival blues recordings, a wide array of past and current symphonies, and this weeks Top 40 hit sit side by side in the music megastore. High and low culture indeed complement each other. Cowens philosophy of cultural optimism stands in opposition to the many varieties of cultural pessimism found among conservatives, neo-conservatives, the Frankfurt School, and some versions of the political correctness and multiculturalist movements, as well as historical figures, including Rousseau and Plato. He shows that even when contemporary culture is thriving, it appears degenerate, as evidenced by the widespread acceptance of pessimism. He ends by considering the reasons why cultural pessimism has such a powerful hold on intellectuals and opinion-makers. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780674001886

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Descripción Harvard University Press, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0674001885

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