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A history of how, in the mid-twentieth century, we came to believe in the concept of creativity. Named a best book of 2023 by the New Yorker and a notable book of 2023 by Behavioral Scientist.

Creativity is one of American society's signature values, but the idea that there is such a thing as "creativity" -- and that it can be cultivated -- is surprisingly recent, entering our everyday speech in the 1950s. As Samuel W. Franklin reveals, postwar Americans created creativity, through campaigns to define and harness the power of the individual to meet the demands of American capitalism and life under the Cold War. Creativity was championed by a cluster of professionals -- psychologists, engineers, and advertising people -- as a cure for the conformity and alienation they feared was stifling American ingenuity. It was touted as a force of individualism and the human spirit, a new middle-class aspiration that suited the needs of corporate America and the spirit of anticommunism.

Amid increasingly rigid systems, creativity took on an air of romance; it was a more democratic quality than genius, but more rarified than mere intelligence. The term eluded clear definition, allowing all sorts of people and institutions to claim it as a solution to their problems, from corporate dullness to urban decline. Today, when creativity is constantly sought after, quantified, and maximized, Franklin's eye-opening history of the concept helps us to see what it really is, and whom it really serves.

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  • We started tracking this book on April 17, 2023.
  • This book was $24.70 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 45 times in the past 463 days.
  • The current price of this book is $19.49 last checked one day ago.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past year is $3.99.
  • The lowest price to date was $3.99 last reached on July 12, 2024.
  • This book has been $3.99 2 times since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was $24.70 last reached on December 7, 2023.
  • This book has been $24.70 8 times since we started tracking it.

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  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 259 Pages
  • File Size: 2,493 KB

We last verified the price of this book about one day ago. At that time, the price was $19.49. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.com website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.