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"The strength of this book lies in the depth of evidence Laird offers... [Advertising agents,] Laird argues, deliberately set out to 'create consumers' rather than 'inform customers.'."

"Well-researched, tightly argued, and lavishly illustrated... Laird's treatment is destined to become the standard one on the history of advertising between the Civil War and the beginning of the 'New Era.'."

"What gives the book its considerable depth and explanatory power is the nuanced and comprehensive way in which Laird discusses the shifting contexts of American advertising... A complex, sophisticated analysis of how entrepreneurs and professionals create messages designed to sell goods."