The Power of Glamour: Persuasion, Longing, and Individual Aspiration

(Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Book Forum
January 29, 2014 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring the author Virginia Postrel, Columnist, Bloomberg View, author of The Future and Its Enemies, and former editor, Reason; with comments by Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; and Sam Tanenhaus, Writer at large, New York Times, and former editor, New York Times Book Review; moderated by Walter Olson, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

Glamour promises to carry us out of quotidian life into a world more beautiful and fulfilling. But what is glamour? A mere daydream distracting us from our true duties and long-term well-being? An illusion created to stimulate commerce in a capitalist economy? How does glamour relate to envy, to art, to self-improvement, to personal charisma? In her new book, Virginia Postrel builds on her path-breaking work in The Substance of Style to show that beauty and luxury are far from the only touchstones of glamour: the glamour of military life, of the church, of exploration and discovery, have been driving forces throughout human history, unleashing a dazzling form of persuasion that operates by rousing aspiration and longing in the individual. Please join us for a sparkling discussion of these ideas with three leading public intellectuals.