Book: Button Power - 125 Years of Saying Its With Buttons
• As editorial director for Antique Trader magazine, I reviewed this book for our publication. I also had the pleasure of talking with the authors for a story in our magazine. Both Christen Carter and Ted Hake are a delight. Carter and Hake bring an energy and passion to their new book you would expect from two of America’s foremost button experts. What is surprising, however, is just how wildly entertaining and informative their work is. Who knew the button could be so captivating? Handsomely designed and filled with lively insights and a contagious enthusiasm, Button Power, with the help of more than 1,500 images of pin-back buttons, provides a “people’s history,” capturing the big and small moments that have come to define us as a country. It’s a lot to ask of the humble button, but Carter and Hake pull it off with great joy. Politicians, artists, athletes, actors, pop musicians, mascots, advertisements and causes of all shapes and sizes fill 192 pages. Offering a cultural touchstone, Button Power is equal parts historical, provocative and nostalgic, with a heavy dose of fun sprinkled throughout – heady stuff for such tiny wonders. Hake is the consummate historian and Carter brings the fervor of a true believer in the power of the button. Together they reveal how buttons build community while reflecting our dreams and aspirations. During an interview, Carter said the following: “Buttons reveal a zeitgeist of the moment. Our hope with the book is to have people appreciate buttons not necessarily as art forms but as wearable identity. Buttons connect us to something bigger than ourselves.” Carter and Hake do much the same with their book, impressively connecting readers with these pint-sized marvels. I highly recommend."
– Irish Luck
Christen Carter is the founder in 1995 Busy Beaver Button Company in Chicago and has produced more than 30 million buttons for bands, artists, political campaigns, and more. In 2010, she started the Button Museum, dedicated to revealing American history through pin-back buttons.
Ted Hake is the founder of Hake's Auctions, America's first auction house to specialize in popular culture artifacts. He has written seventeen collectors' guides that span presidential campaign items, vintage Disneyana, and comic character toys. Ted has received the American Political Items Collectors Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association Advisory Board.