Consumers' Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865-1920 / Edition 1

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Overview

Histories of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era tend to characterize the United States as an expansionist nation bent on Americanizing the world without being transformed itself. In Consumers' Imperium, Kristin Hoganson reveals the other half of the story, demonstrating that the years between the Civil War and World War I were marked by heightened consumption of imports and strenuous efforts to appear cosmopolitan.

Hoganson finds evidence of international connections in quintessentially domestic places—American households. She shows that well-to-do white women in this era expressed intense interest in other cultures through imported household objects, fashion, cooking, entertaining, armchair travel clubs, and the immigrant gifts movement. From curtains to clothing, from around-the-world parties to arts and crafts of the homelands exhibits, Hoganson presents a new perspective on the United States in the world by shifting attention from exports to imports, from production to consumption, and from men to women. She makes it clear that globalization did not just happen beyond America's shores, as a result of American military might and industrial power, but that it happened at home, thanks to imports, immigrants, geographical knowledge, and consumer preferences. Here is an international history that begins at home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Escapes our usual parochial categories, and that is one of the highest compliments to give any work."—Journal of American History

"Powerfully argued and deeply researched. . . . Advances the field of American studies further by integrating gender and the global into the story of American nationalism and consumerism."—Journal of Contemporary History

"Offers important additions and qualifications to the prevailing interpretations of turn-of-the-century America. . . . A rich, eloquent, and very useful description of the outward behavior of international shopping."—Journal of Social History

"An insightful narrative. . . . Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"Hoganson has written a rich and academic flavored book that is thought provoking because it pushes one's thinking in both new and old directions."—Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

"[A] gracefully written survey. . . . Hoganson's research is meticulous."—Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

"Adds a convincing counterweight to the somewhat tired arguments about United States nationalism and imperialism in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era."—The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"In a wealth of imaginatively turned analysis and novel detail, Hoganson shows how turn-of-the-century American women reimagined themselves as consumers of the world. By installing a 'Turkish' cozy corner in their parlors, learning to boil macaroni, or joining a travel reading club, they refashioned themselves as partakers of a new, imperial cosmopolitanism—even as they stayed at home. Rich in material, originality, and insight, Hoganson's Consumers' Imperium is certain to leave a strong mark on women's studies, studies of material and consumer culture, and the new field of transnational history."—Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University

"Consumers' Imperium is a tour de force. Hoganson takes a relatively superficial set of practices—late nineteenth and early twentieth-century food, fashion, and immigrant gift fairs—and demonstrates that they lie absolutely at the foundation of a

From the Publisher
"Offers important additions and qualifications to the prevailing interpretations of turn-of-the-century America. . . . A rich, eloquent, and very useful description of the outward behavior of international shopping."
Journal of Social History

"Adds a convincing counterweight to the somewhat tired arguments about United States nationalism and imperialism in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era."
The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Hoganson has written a rich and academic flavored book that is thought provoking because it pushes one's thinking in both new and old directions."
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

"Powerfully argued and deeply researched. . . . Advances the field of American studies further by integrating gender and the global into the story of American nationalism and consumerism."
Journal of Contemporary History

"[A] gracefully written survey. . . . Hoganson's research is meticulous."
Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

"An insightful narrative. . . . Highly recommended."
CHOICE

"Escapes our usual parochial categories, and that is one of the highest compliments to give any work."
Journal of American History

Consumers' Imperium is a tour de force.
—Laura Wexler, Yale University

Rich in material, originality, and insight, Hoganson's Consumers' Imperium is certain to leave a strong mark on women's studies, studies of material and consumer culture, and the new field of transnational history.
—Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807857939
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin L. Hoganson is associate professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and author of Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     xi
Beyond Main Street: Imperial Nightmares and Gopher Prairie Yearnings     1
Cosmopolitan Domesticity, Imperial Accessories: Importing the American Dream     13
The Fashionable World: Imagined Communities of Dress     57
Entertaining Difference: Popular Geography in Various Guises     105
Girdling the Globe: The Fictive Travel Movement and the Rise of the Tourist Mentality     153
Immigrant Gifts, American Appropriations: Progressive Era Pluralism as Imperialist Nostalgia     209
Conclusion: The Global Production of American Domesticity     251
Appendix of Travel Clubs     257
Notes     279
Bibliography     341
Index     389
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