Political Sign: Object Lessons

Autor Tobias Carroll
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 3 sep 2020
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.In an election year, political signs can be impossible to avoid. They're in front yards, on bumper stickers, and in some places you might never have expected. Tobias Carroll chronicles the permutations and secret histories of political signs, venturing into the story of how they came to be and illuminating how the signs around us shape us in ways we often fail to appreciate. In an era of political polarization and heated debate, what can be learned from studying how our personal space becomes the setting for both? Understanding political signs can help us understand our current political moment, and how we might transcend it.Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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ISBN-13: 9781501358104
ISBN-10: 1501358103
Pagini: 192
Dimensiuni: 121 x 165 x 18 mm
Greutate: 0.18 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Academic
Seria Object Lessons

Locul publicării:New York, United States


The Object Lessons series, published in association with The Atlantic, explores the hidden lives of ordinary things and uncovers the lessons they hold about ourselves and the modern world

Notă biografică

Tobias Carroll is Managing Editor of the literary website Vol.1 Brooklyn. He is the author of two books, Reel (2016) and Transitory (2016). His writing has been published by Vulture, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Hazlitt, Literary Hub, and The Paris Review, among other places.


Introduction1. The Ubiquity of Yard Signs 2. The Sign Wars 3. The Business of Signs 4. The Pros and Cons of Being Generic 5. Political Signs in the Public Eye6. Signs as Shorthand, Signs as Remakes7. On Protest Signs8. The Making of a Protest Sign9. Sports & Signs & Sponsors10. Signs in the SeatsInterlude: The Punk Chapter11. Knives Bats New (Political) Tats12. HOPE and Its Discontents13. When Art Is a Sign14. When a Sign Is ArtConclusionAcknowledgments & ThanksNotesIndex


A page-turner of cultural analysis and shrewd observation.
During a moment in which Americans are besieged by an onslaught of political messaging from the sublime to the ridiculous, this slim, thoughtful volume helps make sense of what we're seeing. Tobias Carroll has written a timely meditation on the political sign, an object that telegraphs our deeply held beliefs and exists in 'the space between poetry and prose'. You won't look at a MAGA hat the same way again.
The artifacts he examines look more curious than their familiarity would suggest.
We have long been taught to think about the politics of signs, but less often is this applied to political signs themselves-our yard signs and bumper stickers and billboards-these strange creatures of the American electoral landscape, some proliferating and gone like dandelions, others stuck in place like barnacles, even as years of political changes leave them as decontextualized fossils. In this brisk and encompassing work, Tobias Carroll examines and makes strange these instruments of power and change and reaction, offering us a sharp and unyielding look at everything that is on the surface that we still do not see.
Tobias Carroll has opened my eyes to the signs around me, and now I can't stop seeing.