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Jonathan Schroeder

May 29, 2024

Jonathan Schroeder, M.A. ’87, Ph.D. ’90, has published the third book in a trilogy on vinyl records and the stories they tell about cultural history. Designed for Success: Better Living with Midcentury Instructional Records, published by MIT Press with co-author Janet Borgerson, shows how instructional records tap into a distinctly U.S. belief in self-transformation, touted through transcendentalist notions of aspirational striving and human development. Alterations of the body, modification of behavior, transformation of the mind all are possible with the help of albums such as Keep Fit | Be Happy, On Wine: How to Select & Serve, and Better Golf through Hypnosis. The book marks the first comprehensive celebration of instructional records, with 125 full-color images of album covers from the 1950s and 1960s that will entertain, inform, and inspire. Many of the records featured in the book were sourced at legendary Berkeley record stores like Amoeba, Rasputin, and Asta’s. Makes a great gift!

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