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Diane Publishing Books
Beauty & the Book: Fine Editions & Cultural Distinction in America
Megan L. Benton. In post-World War I America -- a world teeming with magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasts, & movies -- many feared that the survival of traditional, serious books was in peril. This concern led to a publishing boom in fine editions -- books valued primarily for their beauty, craftsmanship, extravagance, status, or scarcity. Here is a lively cultural history of the explosion in demand for these deluxe books during the 1920s & 1930s. The clamor to own fine books reflected the anxieties & desires of those who mourned the rise of a modern mass culture. For them, such volumes not only affirmed a pre-industrial ideal but also imparted social distinction & cultural superiority. Provides a close examination of 300 fine editions of the period. Illustrated.
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