Book 187: Branded Nation

This book is an intense examination of the nature of branding in the United States, looking specifically at the branding of religions, higher education, and art, three areas which people do not normally associate with branding. In fact, as Twitchell argues, branding is vary much entwined with these three fields, and it’s actually a driving force behind them in modern America. Fail to toe the line, and find yourself quietly shuttered.

I would highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone, because it’s a very interesting overall survey of what’s going on with cultural branding in the United States. Twitchell also doesn’t pull any punches in his detailed investigation of branding and marketing, and he has some interesting ideas about how branding is impacting our lives.

The branding of cultural institutions, whether museums, universities, or religious sects, has intriguing and far-reaching implications which are well worth considering. This book is meticulously researched and very well presented, with an exhaustive introduction and three sections dedicated to each of the three topics the book focuses on. If you do decide to pick it up, prepare to be astounded, horrified, and deeply intrigued.


Branded Nation, by James B. Twitchell. Published 2004, 313 pages. Sociology/economics.