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New York University Press

On the Make: Clerks and the Quest for Capital in Nineteenth-Century America

On the Make: Clerks and the Quest for Capital in Nineteenth-Century America

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In the bustling cities of the mid-nineteenth-century Northeast, young male clerks working in commercial offices and stores were on the make, persistently seeking wealth, respect, and self-gratification. Yet these strivers and counter jumpers discovered that claiming the identities of independent men--while making sense of a volatile capitalist economy and fluid urban society--was fraught with uncertainty.
In On the Make, Brian P. Luskey illuminates at once the power of the ideology of self-making and the important contests over the meanings of respectability, manhood, and citizenship that helped to determine who clerks were and who they would become. Drawing from a rich array of archival materials, including clerks' diaries, newspapers, credit reports, census data, advice literature, and fiction, Luskey argues that a better understanding of clerks and clerking helps make sense of the culture of capitalism and the society it shaped in this pivotal era.

Author: Brian P. Luskey
Publisher: New York University Press
Published: 12/01/2011
Pages: 287
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.70h x 5.70w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780814753101

About the Author
Luskey, Brian P.: - Brian P. Luskey is Assistant Professor of History at West Virginia University.

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