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Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion:
What does advertising do? Does it create needs and desires? Is it the faith of a secular society? If so, why does it inspire so little devotion? "Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion" is a clear-eyed account of advertising as both a business and social institution. Instead of fuelling the moral indignation surrounding the industry, or feeding fantasies of powerful manipulators, Michael Schudson offers a balanced appraisal of how advertising really works, or fails to work. Encompassing a broad survey of academic debate about advertising, he presents a clear assessment of advertising in its wider sociological and historical framework, persuasively concluding that advertising is not nearly as important, effective, or scientifically founded as either its advocates or its critics imagine. Schudson evaluates not only advertising but consumer society generally, challenging the most common critiques of consumer society to argue that criticism of consumer capitalism is as old a tradition as consumer capitalism itself. [via]