Skip the Sunday Yak Shows and Watch Virginia Postrel Talk About Glamour!

If it’s Sunday, it used to mean the ritual self-flagellation of
watching Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, or some other
routinely tedious yakfest in which Team Red spokespeople faced off
against Team Blue spokespeople for some of the least engaging
theater since Anyone Can Whistle hit Broadway for
all of nine performances

So instead of cozying up with David Gregory, Bob Scheiffer,
Chris Wallace or George Stephanopoulos, take a look at this truly
fascinating conversation with former Reason Editor in Chief
Virginia Postrel about her excellent new book, The Power of

It’s about an hour long and covers more territory than a Christo

Here’s the original writeup:

“If you acknowledge that you find something glamorous it makes
you vulnerable because it says something about who you are,” says
Virginia Postrel, author of the new book, The
Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual
. “But I want people to think about what they
find glamorous and learn from that.”

Postrel, who served as the editor in
 of Reason Magazine from 1989 to
2000, is an internationally acclaimed writer, a regular
 for Bloomberg View, and the author
of two previous books, The
Future and its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity,
Enterprise, and Progress
 (1999) and The
Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is Remaking
Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness

She sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie for an hour-long
conversation about her new book, which is a meditation on how our
perception of glamour shapes our culture, determines the choices we
make, and reveals our inner-selves. The book is an entertaining
romp, analyzing the deeper significance of the glamorous people and
places that have shaped the last century of American

Gillespie and Postrel discuss the glamour of the Tuskegee airmen
(6:45); the glamour of California (9:30); the distinction between
glamour and charisma (14:45); Obama’s glamour vs. Bill Clinton’s
charisma (16:45); Marxist art critic John Berger’s “desiccated”
take on glamour (20:30); Joan Crawford role in “defining the modern
woman to the general public” (25:20); how a “ridiculously
glamorous” image inspired dancer Michaela DePrince (27:30); how
Naomi Wolfe’s projected her “single mother chic” image on Angelina
Jolie (30:45); Oprah Winfrey’s infatuation with the Mary Tyler
Moore Show (32:15); David Bowie’s ever-changing personas (36:30);
how glamour “tells the truth about desire” (38:45); the
democratization of glamour (40:45); the proliferation of glamour in
a capitalist society (45:20); how Postrel’s libertarianism informs
her work (48:30); the “intense glamour” of planning in the early
twentieth century (51:20); how understanding glamour provides
insights into human behavior (56:15); and how the breast cancer
drug Herceptin saved Postrel’s life (57:30).

For more on Postrel’s tenure at Reason, watch a
recent discussion she participated in celebrating the 45th
anniversary of the magazine, and read
Brian Doherty’s oral history
 of the magazine, on the
occasion of its 40th anniversary.

Approximately 1 hour.

Camera by Jim Epstein and Anthony Fisher, and edited by

This originally ran at on Friday, November 15,

For downloadable versions, more links, and other resources,

go here

from Hit & Run

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