The Space Merchants

Frederik Pohl, C. M. Kornbluth
The Space Merchants Cover

The Space Merchants - a timely satire


Written in 1952, The Space Merchants makes Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth seem prescient. Or maybe 1952 wasn't all that different from today. I've read comparisons of The Space Merchants to the TV show Mad Men, which I think is set in the 1960s. I really don't know about that, never having seen the TV show. In the book, marketing and advertising is all-important. Congressmen represent corporations rather than citizen constitiuents. The world is so crowded that a two-room apartment is high luxury. Ordinary consumers rent individual steps to sleep on in the stairwells of corporate high-rises. Conservationists, "consies", are as feared and hated as communists in the McCarthy era. The Space Merchants certainly does seem pertinent to our present times, a caricature in preposterous hyperbole, but pertinent.