David Berry

On Nostalgia

From Mad Men to MAGA: how nostalgia came to be and why we are so eager to indulge it.

From movies to politics, social media posts to the targeted ads between them, nostalgia 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 come 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 ever before.
161 printed pages
Original publication



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    mrkartofel04227has quoted10 hours ago
    nostalgia assumes its full meaning’: the underlying implication is that if we were awash in some sense of the authentic, we would not have much occasion to look backward to find it – let alone yearn for a return
    mrkartofel04227has quoted2 days ago
    a moment so obvious I did not take note of it; it just seeped its way into me and has never bled out
    Саня Кособоковаhas quoted22 days ago
    Anyone who has ever tried to argue that they don’t have regrets – or that you shouldn’t have them, either – is effectively endorsing the same basic conception of identity, even if they’re trying to downplay the bad instead of emphasizing the good;

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