Abstract

Abstract:

A classic in science fiction literature, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants offers a compelling glimpse into critiques of Madison Avenue and consumer culture in America in the early 1950s. This essay offers resources which readers might deploy in teaching this book in their classes, first introducing an approach that reads science fiction writers as engaging with media theory—both consuming and producing accounts of communication technologies and practices. I will explore some of the ways that Space Merchants might be read in relation to, among other works, Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders, Jules Henry's Culture Against Man, and early works in the environmentalist movement.

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