Authenticity: The Cultural History of a Political Concept

  • Maiken Umbach
  • Mathew Humphrey

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 1-12
  3. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 13-38
  4. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 39-66
  5. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 67-93
  6. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 95-121
  7. Maiken Umbach, Mathew Humphrey
    Pages 123-129
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 131-144

About this book


Authenticity is everywhere: political leaders invoke the idea to gain our support, advertisers use it to sell their products. But is authenticity a dangerous hoax? What is, and is not, authentic has been hotly debated ever since the concept was invented. Many academics have sought to "unmask" authenticity claims as deceptive. This book takes a different approach. In chapters covering historical and contemporary examples, the authors explore why authenticity, real or imagined, exercises such a powerful hold on our imaginations. The chapters trace how invocations of authenticity borrow from one another, across arenas such as philosophy and theology, encounters with nature, leisure, and mass consumption, political and corporate leadership, left-wing and right-wing ideologies. This cultural history of authenticity is of interest to academic and lay readers alike, who are interested in the significance and history of a concept that shapes how we understand ourselves and the world we live in. 


ideology politics nature production consumption genuine eighteenth century nineteenth century twentieth century real language visual

Authors and affiliations

  • Maiken Umbach
    • 1
  • Mathew Humphrey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-68565-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-68566-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site