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Character Is Capital: Success Manuals and Manhood in Gilded Age America ePub download

by Judy Hilkey

  • Author: Judy Hilkey
  • ISBN: 0807823538
  • ISBN13: 978-0807823538
  • ePub: 1549 kb | FB2: 1317 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Job Hunting & Careers
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (September 29, 1997)
  • Pages: 224
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Votes: 310
  • Format: txt mbr mobi rtf
Character Is Capital: Success Manuals and Manhood in Gilded Age America ePub download

Hilkey offers a cultural history of success manuals and the industry that produced and marketed them. In late nineteenth-century America, a new type of book became commonplace in millions of homes across the country.

Hilkey offers a cultural history of success manuals and the industry that produced and marketed them. Volumes sporting such titles as The Way to Winand Onward to Fame and Fortunepromised to show young men how to succeed in life.

HilkeyUs book is a significant contribution to debates on ideals of success and manhood in America. Maryland Historical Magazine". Interpretive restraint, careful presentation of evidence, and clear, direct writing make this a model monograph. Hilkey's multi-faceted examination of subscription success books enables her to recapture and analyze the vision of American life this literature offered. Daniel Horowitz, Smith College.

University of North Carolina Press. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

In late nineteenth-century America, a new type of book became commonplace in millions of homes across the country. Volumes sporting such titles as The Way to Win and Onward to Fame and Fortune promised to show young men how to succeed in life. But despite their upbeat titles, success manuals offered neither practical business advice nor a simple celebration of the American Dream. In In late nineteenth-century America, a new type of book became commonplace in millions of homes across the country. Judy Hilkey, who holds a P. in history, is senior counselor at the Center for Worker Education, City College of New York, CUNY.

One's character is often molded through the influence of another; but it is equally true that every man is the architect .

One's character is often molded through the influence of another; but it is equally true that every man is the architect of his own fortune, and that his truest course in life is to follow, not the guidance of another, but his own instincts. Библиографические данные.

AM102: North America: Themes and Problems (Term 2). Section: Week 3: Further Reading.

University of North Carolina Press. AM102: North America: Themes and Problems (Term 2). Section: Week 3: Further Reading Library availability.

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Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974), pp. 156-57. Hayek, Constitution of Liberty, p. 93. Character (1871); Thrift (1875), Duty (1880). Libertarian journalist Megan McArdle has discussed this idea in Consumer culture published in The Atlantic, October 2007, but it is not clear who coined the term.

In late nineteenth-century America, a new type of book became commonplace in millions of homes across the country. Volumes sporting such titles as The Way to Win and Onward to Fame and Fortune promised to show young men how to succeed in life. But despite their upbeat titles, success manuals offered neither practical business advice nor a simple celebration of the American Dream. Instead, as Judy Hilkey reveals, they presented a dire picture of an uncertain new age, portraying life in the newly industrialized nation as a brutal struggle for survival, but arguing that adherence to old-fashioned virtues enabled any determined man to succeed. Hilkey offers a cultural history of success manuals and the industry that produced and marketed them. She examines the books' appearance, iconography, and intended audience--primarily native-born, rural and small-town men of modest means and education--and explores the genre's use of gendered language to equate manhood with success, femininity with failure. Ultimately, argues Hilkey, by articulating a worldview that helped legitimate the new social order to those most threatened by it, success manuals urged readers to accommodate themselves to the demands of life in the industrial age.
Celace
Hilkey has written a thorough and very readable (for an academic book) analysis of the highly popular success manuals published between 1870 and 1910. While her first few chapters are given over to an unavoidably dry discussion of the publishing industry and major writers, the majority of the book is spent on a fascinating and far more lively analysis of the content of the guides themselves. Hilkey makes several important arguments, one of which is that, by positing character and manhood as the qualities that separated 'successes' from 'failures,' the writers of manuals attempted to obscure or ignore class divisions in industrializing America and instead insist that the division was between being a manly man, whatever your wealth or occupation, or being shiftless-- which could apply equally to the poor or the dissipated rich. In doing so, the writers promoted a vision of manliness, character and virtue that made it possible for men of varied classes to imagine themselves part of a broad middle class defined by shared values rather than identical socioeconomic background. She also discusses the roles of women, as well as the importance of imagery of sexuality, of machinery and of the battlefield. An incisive analysis useful to any historian of the period, of manliness, class, or popular literature.
Marinara
This book presents a very interesting background for a very interesting period of American history (the late-19th century). The author explores a crisis in manhood through the use of period success manuals.
The books, themselves, represent a sort of metaphorical voyage for success. The books were very expense (often a whole family's weekly salary) and they were often "gilded" (although, their construction was very cheaply and poorly done). These manuals were written by prominent figures and were geared for subscription selling to rural middle-class families, primarily living in the Midwest.
The "crisis" in the author's thesis, however, is the overlooked fact that these books were merely bought for social status. Not only were these books sold in high volume, but they were often advertised as "no home should be without them". Additionally, the door-to-door salesmen often advised a family that all their neighbors had all made the wise investment, and that they certainly didn't want to be the only disadvantaged family in the area, hence the prestige of ownership.
Certainly, these manuals were read, and, perhaps, utilized to a certain level; however, the author's assumptions regarding their overall extraordinary level of use is flawed. Hilkey asserts that the large number of purchases of these manuals constituted a cultural crisis in the rural areas of the United States, especially among middle-class boys who were growing up in an era of changing social roles and mores.
Simply, Hilkey should re-exam her thesis from the prospect that these success manuals were simply bought as nothing more than very expensive coffee table books with very little readable and implementation value.
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