Culture Crash The Killing of the Creative Class Scott Timberg

Publication date:
25 Feb 2016
Yale University Press
336 pages: 210 x 140mm
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When artists and artisans can’t make a living, the health of America’s culture is at risk

Change is no stranger to us in the twenty-first century. We must constantly adjust to an evolving world, to transformation and innovation. But for many thousands of creative artists, a torrent of recent changes has made it all but impossible to earn a living. A persistent economic recession, social shifts, and technological change have combined to put our artists—from graphic designers to indie-rock musicians, from architects to booksellers—out of work. This important book looks deeply and broadly into the roots of the crisis of the creative class in America and tells us why it matters.
In this book Scott Timberg considers the human cost as well as the unintended consequences of shuttered record stores, decimated newspapers, music piracy, and a general attitude of indifference. He identifies social tensions and contradictions—most concerning the artist’s place in society—that have plunged the creative class into a fight for survival. Timberg shows how America’s now-collapsing middlebrow culture—a culture once derided by intellectuals like Dwight Macdonald—appears, from today’s vantage point, to have been at least a Silver Age. The book is essential reading for anyone who works in the world of culture, knows someone who does, or cares about the work creative artists produce.

More about this title

Read an extract from Scott Timberg's Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class on the YaleBooks blog

Scott Timberg wrote on music and culture. He was a contributor to Salon and the New York Times, and ran ArtsJournal’s Culture Crash blog.

“Timberg—himself a culture journalist who was a victim of one of the Los Angeles Times’s seemingly endless series of layoffs—makes a good case that, as Bob Dylan once put it, ‘something there’s been lost.’”—Ben Yagoda, New York Times Book Review

"A quietly radical rethinking of the very nature of art in modern life."—Richard Brody,

"If you believe that the life of your mind is inseparable from the health of your life, that serious art and artists are an essential component to human nourishment, then you have an obligation, to yourself and your children and us all, to read Timberg's book."—William Giraldi, The New Republic