journal of world history, june 2009 biographical details in the historical context part of this work of cultural and intellectual history, in the cases of Marinetti, Apollinaire, Kandinsky in the first part of the book, then the design modernists, Breton, and the English poet and critic Herbert Read in the concluding chapter. Through this method, Adamson details not only how the actual life experiences of the artists and thinkers directly affected their practices, ideas, and activities, but also how their views were transformed in responses to changing situations in the social, political, and economic spheres of the tumultuous period. The book concludes with an excellent overview and mediation on the larger question of the place and role of the artist and the intellectual in the modern world, in which the power and influence of mass commodity culture is an unavoidable fact. Adamson notes that the effort by the avant-garde modernists to resist commodity culture by taking control of it to transform it failed, as they were overwhelmed and marginalized by the political and market forces they tried to make use of. He also points out, however, that the fundamental questions that they raised about the fate of art
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 20, 2009
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