9780814752289

On the Make

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780814752289

  • ISBN10:

    0814752284

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-01-01
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr

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Summary

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 menwhile making sense of a volatile capitalist economy and fluid urban societywas 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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: Puzzled about Identityp. 1
What Is My Prospects?p. 21
The Humble Laborer in the White Collarp. 54
Homo Counter-Jumperiip. 83
Striving for Citizenshipp. 119
The Republic of Broadclothp. 148
The Swedish Nightingale and the Peeping Tomp. 177
Conclusion: Once More, Freep. 207
Notesp. 237
Indexp. 273
About the Authorp. 278
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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