Veysey on Bell
The reading, “A Post Mortem on Daniel Bell’s Post Industrialism,” by Laurence Veysey is an article analyzing the writings by Daniel Bell on the Post Industrialism Age, which were published in the mid 1970’s. Daniel Bell was an American journalist who attempted to describe the relationship between technology and capitalism. Veysey takes a close look at two major books by Bell. The first of Bell’s book titled, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, takes a look at Bell’s concept of an era in which knowledge becomes central to the entire functioning of the society. Additionally, Bell is describing an information society’s values and focuses. Contradicting some views with the first, the second of Bell’s book titled, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, criticizes the “cultural takeover of romanticism.”
Bell believes the 1960’s to be a period of youth revolt and disregard of traditional American values. Veysey neither contradicts nor agrees with Bell’s radical thinking, but simply analyses and states Bell’s views on society’s progression post industrialism. Bell is used to highlight changes in society, while Veysey describes society past 1970s as an age of “fulfillment and progress.” Veysey believed the 1920’s could have been the age of fulfillment had it not been for the Great Depression in the 1930s. Although, the “new age,” he speaks of does not fit into the 1920s because citizens were moving into cities and increasing manufacturing. The absolute decline in the good-producing sector did not set in until the late 1960s, which is when Veysey agrees with Bell that the Postindustrial Age truly sets in. Society emphasizes human intellectual growth rather than mass production of goods seen from late 19th century and slightly past World War II. The main thesis of the article is laid out as Veysey describing a major change after the 1970s. The title of the article summarizes the article well. It is an insight into Bell’s views on an information society. I believe Veysey to be less radical than the author he chose to write about. Veysey believes America’s society is entering an intellectual age full of promise, while Bell seems to think this new age is a worse off society.
The article was published in spring of 1982 by Johns Hopkins University Press. The source of the article was American Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1 pp.49. The designated audience for this scholarly article is academicians and researchers on America’s society transformation after the Industrial Age. Veysey is an authority figure on intellectual history who received his education at University of California-Berkley. He was a professor at University of California Santa Cruz history department for over twenty years. Johnathon Bleecher, a friend and colleague at Santa Cruz states, “a loyal and generous friend and a person of extraordinary intelligence and at times alarming bluntness.” Veysey’s major works such as The Communal Experience and The Emergence of The American University have received more attention to its publications, while his article on Bell’s Posindustrialization has received little feedback from noteworthy scholars. However, other authors such as Compaine, Benjamin M. and Read, William H. who wrote The Information Resources Policy Handbook: Research for the Information Age, may have contradicting views of Bell and Veysey. Another scholarly article with possible conflicting views on the postindustrial age could be the authors of, The Creative Class, Post-Industrialism and the Happiness of Nations, by Charlotta Mellander, Richard Florida, and Jason Rentrow.