Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Book: Service and Style

I came across a fascinating book while browsing in the USC Bookstore this afternoon: SERVICE AND STYLE: HOW THE AMERICAN DEPARTMENT STORE FASHIONED THE MIDDLE CLASS by Jan Whitaker. The book covers the history of the American department store and is filled with both color and black and white photos of department stores, department store advertising, and more.

It was published a few months ago, in August 2006. It was reviewed in The Washington Monthly. A bit more information can be found in the listing at Powell's Books.

The author herself had a column on this topic last fall in The Boston Globe.

This is just the kind of "slice of American popular history" I find interesting. The book has gone on my "future reading" list.


Blogger Irene said...

This sounds like a fascinating book.

I was born in Los Angeles and lived there for 16 years. I can remember it being a big deal for my Dad to take me into Downtown to see the stores at Christmas. In the 50's the only place to get an Orange Julius was in the basement of the May Co. The also had great places to eat and Tea Rooms. The women all dressed up and wore hats and gloves. Then the shopping centers began to spread out and these stores became common place.

Now May Co., The Broadway, Buffums, Robinsons, etc. are gone. Kind of sad but that is the way of things.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've heard stories such as you tell, about how special department stores used to be. I missed out on that, but will enjoy vicariously living it when I get this book. :)

Thanks for sharing your memories! Laura

12:01 AM  

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