Land of Desire

Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture

Author: William R. Leach

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307761142

Category: History

Page: 560

View: 3192

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This monumental work of cultural history was nominated for a National Book Award. It chronicles America's transformation, beginning in 1880, into a nation of consumers, devoted to a cult of comfort, bodily well-being, and endless acquisition. 24 pages of photos.
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Butterfly People

An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World

Author: William R. Leach

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307907872

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 2316

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With 32 pages of full-color inserts and black-and-white illustrations throughout. From one of our most highly regarded historians, here is an original and engrossing chronicle of nineteenth-century America’s infatuation with butterflies, and the story of the naturalists who unveiled the mysteries of their existence. A product of William Leach’s lifelong love of butterflies, this engaging and elegantly illustrated history shows how Americans from all walks of life passionately pursued butterflies, and how through their discoveries and observations they transformed the character of natural history. Leach focuses on the correspondence and scientific writings of half a dozen pioneering lepidopterists who traveled across the country and throughout the world, collecting and studying unknown and exotic species. In a book as full of life as the subjects themselves and foregrounding a collecting culture now on the brink of vanishing, Leach reveals how the beauty of butterflies led Americans into a deeper understanding of the natural world. He shows, too, that the country’s enthusiasm for butterflies occurred at the very moment that another form of beauty—the technological and industrial objects being displayed at world’s fairs and commercial shows—was emerging, and that Americans’ attraction to this new beauty would eventually, and at great cost, take precedence over nature in general and butterflies in particular.
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The Challenge of American History

Author: Louis P. Masur

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801862229

Category: History

Page: 331

View: 2944

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In The Challenge of American History, Louis Masur brings together a sampling of recent scholarship to determine the key issues preoccupying historians of American history and to contemplate the discipline's direction for the future. The fifteen summary essays included in this volume allow professional historians, history teachers, and students to grasp in a convenient and accessible form what historians have been writing about.
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The Product of Our Souls

Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace

Author: David Gilbert

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 146962270X

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 3980

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In 1912 James Reese Europe made history by conducting his 125-member Clef Club Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. The first concert by an African American ensemble at the esteemed venue was more than just a concert--it was a political act of desegregation, a defiant challenge to the status quo in American music. In this book, David Gilbert explores how Europe and other African American performers, at the height of Jim Crow, transformed their racial difference into the mass-market commodity known as "black music." Gilbert shows how Europe and others used the rhythmic sounds of ragtime, blues, and jazz to construct new representations of black identity, challenging many of the nation's preconceived ideas about race, culture, and modernity and setting off a musical craze in the process. Gilbert sheds new light on the little-known era of African American music and culture between the heyday of minstrelsy and the Harlem Renaissance. He demonstrates how black performers played a pioneering role in establishing New York City as the center of American popular music, from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway, and shows how African Americans shaped American mass culture in their own image.
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Collecting in a Consumer Society

Author: Russell W. Belk

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134575998

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 6293

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This groundbreaking book examines the relationship between the development of the consumer society and the rise of collecting by individuals and institutions. Rusell Belk considers how and why people collect, as individuals, corporations and museums, and the impact this collecting has on us and our culture. Collecting in a Consumer Society outlines the history of museum collecting from ancient civilizations to the present. It also looks at aspects of consumer culture - advertizing, department stores, mass merchandizing, consumer desires, and how this relates to the activity of collecting. Collecting in a Consumer Society is the first book to focus on collecting as material consumption. This is a provocative and engaging book, essential reading for anyone involved with the process of collecting.
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Journal of the Civil War Era

Winter 2012 Issue

Author: William A. Blair

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 080785266X

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 6650

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The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 2, Number 4 December 2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS Articles Mark Fleszar "My Laborers in Haiti are not Slaves": Proslavery Fictions and a Black Colonization Experiment on the Northern Coast, 1835-1846 Jarret Ruminski "Tradyville": The Contraband Trade and the Problem of Loyalty in Civil War Mississippi K. Stephen Prince Legitimacy and Interventionism: Northern Republicans, the "Terrible Carpetbagger," and the Retreat from Reconstruction Review Essay Roseanne Currarino Toward a History of Cultural Economy Professional Notes T. Lloyd Benson Geohistory: Democratizing the Landscape of Battle Book Reviews Books Received Notes on Contributors The Journal of the Civil War Era takes advantage of the flowering of research on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century.
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Cultures of Selling

Perspectives on Consumption and Society Since 1700

Author: John Benson,Laura Ugolini

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 9780754650461

Category: History

Page: 297

View: 877

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This volume explores the cultural and social values attached to retail selling in various historical contexts and locations. The articles shed light on different aspects of an activity that is both 'mundane' and almost universal: that of selling commodities for a profit. This is a field of study that is of growing interest to scholars from a variety of disciplines, but on which relatively little has yet been published.
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Enchanting a Disenchanted World

Continuity and Change in the Cathedrals of Consumption

Author: George Ritzer

Publisher: Pine Forge Press

ISBN: 1412975816

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 255

View: 1529

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The only book to connect the everyday world of the 20-something undergraduate consumer with sound sociological analysis of the world of consumption Enchanting a Disenchanted World, Third Edition examines Disney, malls, cruise lines, Las Vegas, the world wide web, Planet Hollywood, credit cards, and all the other ways we now consume. Thoroughly updated to reflect the recent economic recession and the impact of the internet, bestselling author George Ritzer continues to explore this book’s central thesis: that our society has undergone fundamental change because of the way and the level at which we consume. This Third Edition demonstrates how we have created new "cathedrals" of consumption (places that enchant us so as to entice us to stay longer and consume more) while continuing to take capitalism to a new level. These places of consumption, whether in our homes, the mall, or cyberspace, are in a constant state of "enchanting the disenchanted," luring us through new spectacles because their rational qualities are both necessary and deadening at the same time. New and Hallmark Features Offers a unique analysis of the world of consumption, especially the settings in which consumption takes place Discusses the recent global economic recession throughout Offers rich details on consuming in such places as Las Vegas, Disney World, on cruise ships, in Wal-Mart, at McDonald’s, and, new to this edition, on the Web Includes a wide range of theoretical perspectives—Marxian, Weberian, critical theory, postmodern theory—as well as a number of concepts such as hyperconsumption, implosion, simulation, and time and space to show students how sociological theory can be applied to everyday phenomena
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The Chautauqua Moment

Protestants, Progressives, and the Culture of Modern Liberalism, 1874-1920

Author: Andrew Chamberlin Rieser

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231501137

Category: Religion

Page: 416

View: 2084

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This book traces the rise and decline of what Theodore Roosevelt once called the "most American thing in America." The Chautauqua movement began in 1874 on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in western New York. More than a college or a summer resort or a religious assembly, it was a composite of all of these—completely derivative yet brilliantly innovative. For five decades, Chautauqua dominated adult education and reached millions with its summer assemblies, reading clubs, and traveling circuits. Scholars have long struggled to make sense of Chautauqua's pervasive yet disorganized presence in American life. In this critical study, Andrew Rieser weaves the threads of Chautauqua into a single story and places it at the vital center of fin de siècle cultural and political history. Famous for its commitment to democracy, women's rights, and social justice, Chautauqua was nonetheless blind to issues of class and race. How could something that trumpeted democracy be so undemocratic in practice? The answer, Rieser argues, lies in the historical experience of the white, Protestant middle classes, who struggled to reconcile their parochial interests with radically new ideas about social progress and the state. The Chautauqua Moment brings color to a colorless demographic and spins a fascinating tale of modern liberalism's ambivalent but enduring cultural legacy.
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The Vegetarian Crusade

The Rise of an American Reform Movement, 1817-1921

Author: Adam D. Shprintzen

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469608928

Category: Cooking

Page: 288

View: 3196

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Vegetarianism has been practiced in the United States since the country's founding, yet the early years of the movement have been woefully misunderstood and understudied. Through the Civil War, the vegetarian movement focused on social and political reform, but by the late nineteenth century, the movement became a path for personal strength and success in a newly individualistic, consumption-driven economy. This development led to greater expansion and acceptance of vegetarianism in mainstream society. So argues Adam D. Shprintzen in his lively history of early American vegetarianism and social reform. From Bible Christians to Grahamites, the American Vegetarian Society to the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Shprintzen explores the diverse proponents of reform-motivated vegetarianism and explains how each of these groups used diet as a response to changing social and political conditions. By examining the advocates of vegetarianism, including institutions, organizations, activists, and publications, Shprintzen explores how an idea grew into a nationwide community united not only by diet but also by broader goals of social reform.
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