Cool Rules by Dick Pountain
Anatomy of an Attitude (FOCI)

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Cool Rules introduces the reader to a new cultural category. While the authors do not claim to have discovered Cool, they believe they are the first to attempt a serious, systematic analysis of Cool's history, psychology, and importance.
The contemporary Cool attitude is barely 50 years old, but its roots are older than that. Cool Rules traces Cool's ancient origins in European, Asian, and African cultures, its prominence in the African-American jazz scene of the 1940s, and its pivotal position within the radical subcultures of the 1950s and '60s. Pountain and Robins examine various art movements, music, cinema, and literature, moving from the dandies and flâneurs of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through to the expropriation of a whole cultural and psychological tradition by the media in the 1980s and '90s. What began as a rebellious posture adopted by minorities mutated to become mainstream itself. Cool is now primarily about consumption, as cynical advertisers have seized on it to create a constantly updated bricolage of styles and entertainments designed to affect the way people think about themselves and their society.

About Dick Pountain

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Dick Pountain is a non-executive director of Dennis Publishing and a former reviews editor on Ink and Oz magazines.David Robins is the author of Tarnished Vision: Crime and Conflic in the Inner City (1992).
Published February 26, 2013 by Reaktion Books. 192 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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(Attempts to link Cool with the placid attitudes of toreadors, Samurai, and Renaissance Italian aristocrats are even more tenuous, and the discussion of Cool in 18th- and 19th-century Britain occupies a single paragraph.) Cool is “an emotional style that belongs to the modern age,” the authors ar...

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Publishers Weekly

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an attitude, a zeitgeist?""), they claim that we all know cool ""when we see it."" Their working definition is that ""cool is an oppositional attitude adopted by individuals to express defiance to authority""--and while this might seem obvious, the pleasure of their brief, elucidating study is in...

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