For Ludwig Erhard, West Germany's “legendary” Minister of Economics, mass consumption played a vital role in the country's postwar recovery. Consumer goods, as he stated in 1949, were the “very foundation of our entire economic, social, and national being” (p. 183). In The Authority of Everyday Objects, Paul Betts explores the centrality of mass consumption to West Germany's postwar history, analyzing how industrial design was called upon to create a sense of national identity following the war. Works from several scholars—Erica Carter, Michael Wildt, Kathy Pence, Uta Poiger, Jonathan Wiesen, and others—have explored the centrality of the national economy and mass consumption to postwar reconstruction. To these works, Betts adds a specific emphasis on design. As he states at the start of his study, consumer goods were to have a particular look, and design was given a powerful place in West German society. It became the chosen terrain for creating a revived sense of national identity following the disasters of dictatorship, war, and genocide. In the postwar period, an “elective affinity” was forged between “industrial design and the rehabilitation of the ‘good German’” (p. 1), he writes. In six chapters, he explores in absorbing detail how industrial design, with its single-minded mission to turn “mere” commodities into “cultural objects” (Kulturgüter), was invested with political meaning in postwar West Germany. The new world of consumer goods, supported by official discourses on the social importance of “good design,” both rehabilitated West Germany's image internationally and exhibited a desirable vision of consumer citizenship to domestic audiences.