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The Warhol Economy:
How Fashion, Art, and Music Drive New York City
Elizabeth Currid
With a new preface by the author

Paperback | 2008 | $25.95 / £17.95 | ISBN: 9780691138749
280 pp. | 6 x 9 | 20 halftones. 22 line illus. 5 tables.
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Which is more important to New York City's economy, the gleaming corporate office--or the grungy rock club that launches the best new bands? If you said "office," think again. In The Warhol Economy, Elizabeth Currid argues that creative industries like fashion, art, and music drive the economy of New York as much as--if not more than--finance, real estate, and law. And these creative industries are fueled by the social life that whirls around the clubs, galleries, music venues, and fashion shows where creative people meet, network, exchange ideas, pass judgments, and set the trends that shape popular culture.

The implications of Currid's argument are far-reaching, and not just for New York. Urban policymakers, she suggests, have not only seriously underestimated the importance of the cultural economy, but they have failed to recognize that it depends on a vibrant creative social scene. They haven't understood, in other words, the social, cultural, and economic mix that Currid calls the Warhol economy.

With vivid first-person reporting about New York's creative scene, Currid takes the reader into the city spaces where the social and economic lives of creativity merge. The book has fascinating original interviews with many of New York's important creative figures, including fashion designers Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg, artists Ryan McGinness and Futura, and members of the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

The economics of art and culture in New York and other cities has been greatly misunderstood and underrated. The Warhol Economy explains how the cultural economy works-and why it is vital to all great cities.

Review:

"[Currid] describes the organic, informal, social networking side of the creative arts in a mixed tone of Rolling Stone new journalism and objective reporting that serves to advance her central thesis: that as an independent drive of an urban economy, the arts and its related industries should stop being viewed as the beautiful step-child of city environments."--Susan Gardner, Daily Kos

"Not every PhD student blows her fellowship money at Barneys New York. But for the urban planner Elizabeth Currid, her passion for style led to some interesting statistics."--Anya Kamenetz, New York Times

"Any discussion about New York City's economic well-being tends to start and end with one phrase: Wall Street. As the Street goes, we assume, so goes the city, which is why politicians will do almost anything to keep the brokerages and investment banks happy.... [In] The Warhol Economy the social scientist Elizabeth Currid argues that this fixation is misdirected, and that it has led us to neglect the city's most vital and distinctive economic sector: the culture industry, which, in Currid's definition, includes everything from fashion, art, and music to night clubs. In other words, it's SoHo and Chelsea, not Wall Street, that the politicians should really be thinking about. Of course, everyone knows that art and culture help make New York a great place to live. But Currid goes much further, showing that the culture industry creates tremendous economic value in its own right."--James Surowiecki, The New Yorker

"Elizabeth Currid's argument in this intelligent and innovative book is that New York, and certain other great cities in particular periods, function as the Factory on a greater scale, and that social policy out to reflect that fact."--Roz Kaveney, Times Literary Supplement

More reviews

Table of Contents:

PREFACE ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii
CHAPTER 1: Art, Culture, and New York City 1
CHAPTER 2: How It All Began From the Rise of the Factory to the Rise of Bling 17
CHAPTER 3: Becoming Creative 45
CHAPTER 4: The Social Life of Creativity 66
CHAPTER 5: The Economics of a Dance Floor 87
CHAPTER 6: Creating Buzz, Selling Cool 114
CHAPTER 7: The Rise of Global Tastemakers
What It All Means for the Policymakers 154
EPILOGUE 187
APPENDIX 191
NOTES 211
REFERENCES 233
INDEX 243

This book has been translated into:

  • Korean
  • Chinese (Simplified)

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    Paperback: $25.95 ISBN: 9780691138749

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    Paperback: £17.95 ISBN: 9780691138749

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    File created: 4/17/2014

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