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On Nostalgia

On Nostalgia

By David Berry
Categories: Social Science
Paperback : 9781552454060, 144 pages, May 2020
Coming soon. (Paperback)

From Mad Men to MAGA: how nostalgia came to be and why we are so eager to indulge it. A remake of Home Alone, the incessant anniversarizing of past events, the trendiness of the "artisanal," the fervor for Friends, the return of the LP, and more: nostalgia is all the rage. From movies to politics, this ceaseless looking backward is one of the most potent forces of our era. On Nostalgia is a panoramic cultural history of nostalgia, exploring how a force that started as a psychological diagnosis of soldiers fighting far from home has become a quintessentially modern condition. Drawing on everything from the modern science of memory to the romantic ideals of advertising, and traversing cultural movements from futurism to fascism to Facebook, cultural critic David Berry examines how the relentless search for self and overwhelming presence of mass media stokes the fires of nostalgia, making it as inescapable as it is hard to pin down. Holding fast against the pull of the past while trying to understand what makes the fundamental impossibility of return so appealing, On Nostalgia explores what it means to remember, how the universal yearning is used by us and against us, and it considers a future where the past is more readily available and easier to lose track of than it ever has been.