The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion

The Power of Glamour Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion In provocative detail with than one hundred illustrations critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz revealing what qualities make a person an object a setting or a

  • Title: The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion
  • Author: Virginia Postrel
  • ISBN: 9781416561118
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In provocative detail with than one hundred illustrations, critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz, revealing what qualities make a person, an object, a setting, or an experience glamorous.What is it that creates that pleasurable pang of desire the feeling of if only If only I could wear those clothes, belong to that group, drive tIn provocative detail with than one hundred illustrations, critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz, revealing what qualities make a person, an object, a setting, or an experience glamorous.What is it that creates that pleasurable pang of desire the feeling of if only If only I could wear those clothes, belong to that group, drive that car, live in that house, be or be with that person Postrel identifies the three essential elements in all forms of glamour and explains how they work to create a distinctive sensation of projection and yearning.The Power of Glamour is the very first book to explain what glamour really is not just style or a personal quality but a phenomenon that reveals our inner lives and shapes our decisions, large and small By embodying the promise of a different and better self in different and better circumstances, glamour stokes ambition and nurtures hope, even as it fosters sometimes dangerous illusions.From vacation brochures to military recruiting ads, from the Chrysler Building to the iPad, from political utopias to action heroines, Postrel argues that glamour is a seductive cultural force Its magic stretches beyond the stereotypical spheres of fashion or film, influencing our decisions about what to buy, where to live, which careers to pursue, where to invest, and how to vote.The result is myth shattering a revelatory theory that explains how glamour became a powerful form of nonverbal persuasion, one that taps into our most secret dreams and deepest yearnings to influence our everyday choices.

    One thought on “The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion”

    1. Let's say that this book is Ms. Glamour herself and this is the one chance we've had to interview her. What is she like? How beautiful is she inside? Well it's a little difficult to tell. It doesn't help that this look at glamour comes from an unlikely position. The motive of libertarians is to gain freedom, to keep government out of our lives. Postrel gives the same cold shoulder treatment to analysis here. Like loudmouths at a Tea Party rally she keeps hammering away at a definition. It's a sh [...]

    2. This was a really fascinating book. As Virginia Postrel works through her definition of glamour--which she defines as something very similar to CS Lewis's sehnsucht or Sweet Desire, a longing for something beyond the world (“a promise of escape and transformation; grace; and mystery”)--you come to an odd realisation. Call it the only book you'll ever read which does nothing much beyond explain to you in detail why you wanted to read it.There's a lot of insight here. Postrel unerringly puts h [...]

    3. This was generated from a TED talk. A fact I didn't know till I read the afterward. It's really a fascinating book on how the world works in regard to the recognition of desirable beauty, mystery, and longing. Why are some things glamorous? What is recognition of glamour tapping into in our psyche? This was one I read with a pen in hand to mark the page near thoughts that were resonant or that I wanted to come back to later. One example (of many): "Whether achieved through misdirection or editin [...]

    4. While I have deeply enjoyed all of Virginia Postrel's work, especially 'The Future and its Enemies', this book happened to catch me at a time when I was ready for it to provoke some creative thinking. The messages about how glamorous stories and images captivate people and can motivate them to change their behavior -- for good or ill -- will definitely affect some of my own thinking on how I communicate visions of humanity's possible futures in space. If you are interested in why and how ideas a [...]

    5. Had some interesting perspectives and photos. Overall, however, it was very disjointed and the author's ideas were all over the place. Halfway through I gave up on the book. It was too frustrated jumping from one unrelated idea to another.

    6. Before I read this, I had thought of glamour as being essentially synonymous with glitz; some showy display designed for and appreciated by shallow people. Not "serious"; not for me. Postrel did a phenomenal job of showing me how wrong I was, articulating how universal the concept of glamour is and how it works, and really putting the lie to the idea that you can be somehow "above" fashion, style, or trends. She manages the neat trick of posing questions of taste without imposing questionable ta [...]

    7. We are hypnotized by the glamour of the world much more than we consciously realize. Many great insights are found here in this analysis of how advertising and the like have a way of tapping into our deepest longings, tapping into our dreams - tapping into the greatest terrain of the human imagination. Some information also on how these glamorous campaigns leave out the 'details.' For example, how the woman who bought the dreamy shoes in the magazine ends up with bloodied feet while running to c [...]

    8. One of the duties of our public intellectuals is to mine the culture for fresh new ways of seeing and describing the world, bringing together seemingly disparate examples and finding regularities and order in what had only been vaguely understood before. Virginia Postrel has been at this for years, and her latest work is a wonderful read that will help anyone in design, advertising, photography, publicity, or any of the arts of persuasion understand at a deeper level how this dream-making works. [...]

    9. When I bought this book at an event featuring the author Virginia Postrel, I asked her whether she had referenced the scene in The Iliad where Helen appears on the ramparts of Troy to watch the battle between her two husbands, Paris (her current spouse) and Menelaus (her once and future spouse).In that scene, all eyes turned to the legendary beauty. Such was her glamour that the assembled men forgot the war to gaze in awe at this image of feminine perfection.Postrel, however, said that while she [...]

    10. I loved the example of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers bloodying many pairs of shoes to perfect a dance sequence where a floor kept immaculate between takes helps create the illusion of effortlessness and glamour during the dance. Glamour involves channeling desire through imagery after the removing of tedium, effort and difficulties to achieve escape and transformation through mystery and grace. Thus Obama’s glamour died when his mystery died and his policies appeared to more and more American [...]

    11. I received a review copy of Virginia Postrel's latest book, The Power of Glamour and read it in one sitting. At first, I didn't know what to make of it. But, over a matter of days, I found myself going back and rereading sections, Googling some of her references, and then cogitating about it some more.Her central thesis is that glamour is a form of visual rhetoric and should be treated as a subject as worthy of deeper analysis as verbal rhetoric. Then she gives a historical tour of glamour throu [...]

    12. I probably would not have read this book if I didn't already like the author seemed pretty far from my area of interest. Surprisingly, it was not. It isn't some vapid picture book of fashion (although the gorgeous images included might make you want to have a printed version for your coffee table rather than the Kindle edition I got), it is an exploration of the whole CONCEPT of glamour, defining it, tracking it through history, and analyzing the ramifications to the lives of those controlling g [...]

    13. How does glamour differ from luxury or charisma? Virginia Postrel analyzes ideas, visuals, and other elements to answer this question in this cultural analysis that could very well double as a coffee table book. In multitudes of examples with accompanying illustrations and photographs, she puts forth a coherent theory of the essential components of glamour.This book is not a how-to manual as the title might suggest, though with all the ideas in this book I suppose it is possible to construct one [...]

    14. When I started reading The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion, my view of what constituted “glamour” was pretty narrow. Postrel quickly dissuaded me of this misconception: “…glamour is not the same as beauty, stylishness, luxury, celebrity, or sex appeal. It is not limited to fashion or film, nor is it intrinsically feminine.” Instead, Postrel defines glamour as a “form of nonverbal rhetoric” that simultaneously generates desire, longing, and pleasure within [...]

    15. This book provides a compelling argument about the role that glamour plays in our daily life. It is a strong argument, well articulated and ably assisted by a number of photographs and images. I found the argument convincing, and I would say that it gave me a fun new paradigm with which to view the world. Many of my life decisions -- wanting to be a baseball player as a child, moving to Paris, attending law school, moving to Cote d'Ivoire -- were at least partially inspired by glamorized visions [...]

    16. I received "The Power of Glamour" as part of a giveaway.In "The Power of Glamour," Postrel explores visual culture as expressed in (and by) advertising, art, fashion, graphic design, film, status symbols, and celebrities. The presence and development of writing systems are what distinguishes "prehistory" from "history," but Postrel makes a compelling case that what we see--across time and place--can tell us just as much, if not more, than the written record. As a history buff, I loved exploring [...]

    17. Incredibly insightful look into the ways that longing and rhetoric combine to form a pervasive, complicated, and largely unseen attempt by humans to interact with civilization. I really enjoyed both her theoretical and critical parsing of what glamour is and does and here copious illustration and photo examples of glamour. Up to date and historically informed, this book captures in detail and nuance the influence that longing and its consummation can have on the way we think about everything. If [...]

    18. I was a bit surprised by how recent some of the examples referenced in this book are and then later saw it was only published in 2013--for some reason, I felt like I'd been reading about Virginia Postrel's investigations into glamour for years before then, through fashion/sewing/feminism blogs and such. Then I got the book, and it's in a wider format with large margins and photos, so it kind of presents itself as like a coffee table book at first. But then in the reading, it's actually quite aca [...]

    19. Virginia Postrel defines "glamour" as a form of visual persuasion that we "know to be false, but feel to be true." She shows us what it looks like when people use glamour to sell to other people--and to sell themselves on a particular course of action.This book will be extremely useful to marketers, but it will be just as helpful for people who want a way to sketch out their own life goals, keeping themselves pointed toward a real oasis . . . even if they must do it by mapping a course to a usef [...]

    20. How did the career of modeling get its start? What is the distinction between glamor and charisma? Does glamor require beauty? These are all questions I never really considered before, but this book answered them decisively.It is a sort of survey of the whole concept of glamor: its nature, its history, its use and effects. While not a "how-to" guide, it gives plenty of hints to those wanting to start their own cults of projected personality. While this is far outside of my normal realm of intere [...]

    21. Never have I been so thoughtful to the idea of "glamour" that pervades our entire society. Virginia Postrel's book "The Power of Glamour" offers a complete and comprehensive answer to the question "what is glamour?" This book is great for sociologists studying the American culture, or anyone who wonders why a car ad makes you yearn to be someone that you aren't. I came into this book expecting it to be mainly pictures of glamorous people with a vapid account of why beautiful people are best kind [...]

    22. I received this book from the First reads giveaway program. Thank you author/publisher for the opportunity to read and review your newest book.The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion by Virginia Postrel is a very comprehensive guide on the history and subject of glamour. The book is divided into three sections:I. The Nature of GlamourII. The Elements of GlamourIII The Evolution of Glamour Within the sections it is broken down further into chapters with some beautiful illu [...]

    23. This is a beautiful, surprising, and ultimately subtle examination of something that I think most people have taken for granted. What's so wonderful about Postrel's examination is that she applies that same, keen insight that I found so inspiring in The Future and Its Enemies to subject matter that is laid out so beautifully in plate after plate. I've tried to think of another book that compares - in combining depth of insight and beauty - and I'm still coming up blank. That's a credit to what P [...]

    24. "What does your Soul look like?" - DJ Shadow Glamour's modern prominence as a prime mover of mankind coincides with growing secularism and materialism. This is because it can replace the soul as the inspirational intermediary between consciousness and our surroundings. When what we see becomes all that exists to experience, glamour imbues an intangible "heaven-on-earth" to certain persons and products. By obscuring imperfections, it spurs us to continue pursuing perfectibility. This desire to ce [...]

    25. I wasn't expecting as much from this book as I got. While I enjoyed her TED talk, which inspired me to read this, that barely scratched the surface of what she explores here.This book is not about glamour in the colloquial sense of lipstick and rhinestones. The subtitle sums it up rather accurately: longing and the art of visual persuasion. I came away from this understanding more about myself and how the fires of my own longings are stoked by cultural values and popular imagery. Engrossing and [...]

    26. Wasn't an area of my interest at all but I'm glad that I read this book. Provides a fascinating history of glamour and a powerful framework to see cultural (and even political) phenomenon. Glamour is not just about movie, fashion, celebrity but it's about everything we long for (e.g. our fascination with political figure, military, war, jihad, etc.). I already feel like that I have a better understanding of various seemingly incomprehensible phenomenon thanks to this book.

    27. I didn't see the point of this book. It's just a laundry list of examples of glamour, without any particularly interesting stories or insights. Everyone knows that beautiful images aren't real, and that's all she seemed to be saying here. Repeating it again and again in different contexts. It might have been a mildly entertaining piece in a cultural studies periodical, but it's not worth a book, and certainly not one in hardcover. Extremely esoteric.

    28. Just finished The Power of Glamour (borrowed from the library), and this book will soon have a permanent place on my book shelf, not because I bought into everything she says but because I disagreed with several premises presented. I found myself more drawn to her thorough examination of the idea and how it effects society today, for good and for ill. As a professional photographer, this book resonates deeply on many levels to the core of why I do what I do and how.

    29. I received a copy of this as a First Reads giveaway.The best word I can use to describe this book would be beautiful. It was beautifully written with beautiful photography. The premise of the book is basically the concept of glamour. Virginia does a good job of painting a vivid picture of what glamour is. After reading it I have put it out as my "coffee table" book.

    30. An intriguing and entertaining look at what glamour is and isn't, how it has evolved, and why certain objects, people, and places are glamorous. Great illustrations, succinct writing, and just the right amount of history. I won this in a First Reads giveaway, and it's a very attractive book, coffee-table worthy but also actually readable.

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