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Vance Packard

Vance Packard (May 22, 1914 - December 12, 1996) was an American author. His first book The Hidden Persuaders[?], about media manipulation of the populace in the 1950s sold a million copies, and was a forerunner of pop sociology[?]: science-based thinking without the weight of detail or eloquence, geared for sale to the mass market.

Packard's work, though well-selling, was criticised as being poorly thought out, light on the facts, high on supposition, and frivolous for the subject matter he was tackling. In truth, much of the emerging work of the time was frivolous by current standards, as publishers saw fit to produce works by less-than-highest level sociologists, etc. The differences between such books and current publications were indicative of the span of thought at the time.

One thing the critics could not argue with, however, was the success of "pop science" books, and their value in bridging a gap between the highly-educated classes and the less educated ones.

These books did, however, deal with some important issues with some thought, such as class divisions.

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