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That Might Be Useful: Exploring America's Secondhand Culture, Leslie, Naton

Author Name    Leslie, Naton

Title   That Might Be Useful: Exploring America's Secondhand Culture

Binding   Hardcover

Book Condition   Good

Publisher    The Lyons Press

ISBN Number    1592287050 / 9781592287055

Seller ID   SKU9135667

1592287050 1st edition, 1st printing with full number line. Good. Light to moderate shelf wear to covers/corners. Hardcover with Dust Jacket. Support Last Word Books & Press and independent booksellers.

Stock Description, May Not Reflect Item

Several years ago, author Naton Leslie decided to opt out of America's dizzying array of retail goods and buy used necessities whenever possible. What he discovered in his meanderings was a characteristically American secondhand culture, replete with a cast of fascinating characters, goods, and venues ranging from the sublime to the bizarre. In the humorous and eminently readable manner of Tony Horwitz and Jonathan Raban, That Might Be Useful recounts his varied journey from well-heeled auction houses dealing exclusively with the estates of the famous, where he finds a desiccated mummy's hand under glass, to
suburban tag sales, antiques stores, and a rural auction house where the motormouthing auctioneer relies heavily on humor and brevity to move objects he is at a loss for words to describe.
While retailers have moved out of downtowns and into malls, and then out into big-box stores, secondhand commerce has remained in communities, and off the radar screens of giant corporations. Sales tax records from antiques stores, auctions, and eBay might give some measure of the billions of dollars engaged in this commerce of broken farm tractors, American primitive art, and nineteenthcentury French bronzes. But the many transactions made under the table through yard sales, flea markets, and other less visible settings are unquantifiable.
It is a facet of American culture that pays scant attention to new retail advertising,
that mocks mainstream megacapitalism by thriving on the American tradition of reuse rooted in practicality, frugality, and ingenuity. That Might Be Useful will appeal to antiques collectors, junk pickers, tool collectors, lovers of PBS's "Antiques Roadshow, andall who like entertaining stories about people passionate for the buying and selling of items from our distant and recent past.

Price = 10.00 USD

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