It’s hard to imagine that “the cool” could ever go out of style. After all, cool is style. Isn’t it? And it may be harder to imagine a world where people no longer aspire to coolness. In this intriguing cultural history, nationally acclaimed author Ted Gioia shows why cool is not a timeless concept and how it has begun to lose meaning and fade into history. Gioia deftly argues that what began in the Jazz Age and became iconic in the 1950s with Miles Davis, James Dean, and others has been manipulated, stretched, and pushed to a breaking point – not just in our media, entertainment, and fashion industries, but also by corporations, political leaders, and social institutions. Tolling the death knell for the cool, this thought-provoking book reveals how and why a new cultural tone is emerging, one marked by sincerity, earnestness, and a quest for authenticity.
Chicago Review Press, 2019