Personal Stereo is Rebecca’s cultural history of the Walkman, published by Bloomsbury in September 2017.
About the book:
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.
“Personal Stereo is loving, wise, and exuberant, a moving meditation on nostalgia and obsolescence. Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow writes as beautifully about Georg Simmel and Allan Bloom as she does about Jane Fonda and Metallica. Now I understand why I still own the taxicab-yellow Walkman my grandmother gave me in 1988.” – Nathaniel Rich, author of Odds Against Tomorrow