Virginia Postrel, author of The Future and Its Enemies, has a new book out on style entitled The Substance of Style—those links credit Virginia Postrel if you purchase after clicking on them, which helps her keep a little extra in earnings.
The book is about the way style has taken on a life of its own. I rather enjoyed her first book, though I occasionally found it tedious in its repetitive distinction between dynamists and stasists—a perhaps non-essential cleavage as well, so I think her second is probably worth buying as well. There are some excellent reviews of the book in an interview in The Atlantic Monthly and the New York Sun that suggest that her central thesis is about how style has become a “major—perhaps the major—economic phenomenon of our time.” That’s a highly debatable point, to be sure.
I’ll post a review once I acquire the book and have a chance to read it.