Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
When the Sony Walkman debuted in 1979, people were enthralled by the novel experience it offered: immersion in the music of their choice, anytime, anywhere. But the Walkman was also denounced as self-indulgent and antisocial--the quintessential accessory for the "me" generation.
In Personal Stereo, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow takes us back to the birth of the device, exploring legal battles over credit for its invention, its ambivalent reception in 1980s America, and its lasting effects on social norms and public space. Ranging from postwar Japan to the present, Tuhus-Dubrow tells an illuminating story about our emotional responses to technological change.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
About the Author
Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow is a Contributing Editor at Dissent. Her writing has appeared in Slate, The Nation, the New York Times Book Review, Boston Review, and the Los Angeles Times. She was previously a contributing writer for the Boston Globe's Ideas section, a columnist for the urban affairs website Next City, and a Journalism and Media Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.