The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846 / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this major work, noted Jacksonian historian Sellers details the impact of capitalism on all aspects of U.S. development in the early 19th century. While some may denigrate his analysis as overly Marxist, its conclusions are logical and supportable. In particular the impact of the market on national character, which Sellers sees as an ongoing conflict of arminian and antimonian philosophies, may lead historians to reinterpretations of events and policies since the Jacksonian era. Sellers's scholarship is vast, but a reliance on secondary sources in social and cultural areas is disappointing. Nevertheless, his bibliographic essay is a goldmine of sources for those researching the period. Specialists may find the content of this work compelling, but the author's arid, sometimes pedantic style will limit its appeal. Recommended for academic libraries.-- Rose Cichy, Osterhout Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
From the Publisher

"The reference work every scholar of antebellum America needs."--Gail S. Murray, Rhodes College

"The book makes the reader ponder the role of capitalism in a democratic society, providing new ways of looking at a much-interpreted era."--History: Review of New Books

"A powerfully argued grand synthesis of a key period in American history, this book will teach and provoke as have few works in the last decade. For no other period of American history can one find such a sweeping, coherent account, which creatively interprets the scholarship of the last thiry years. Sellers fuses scholarship with moral purpose in ways that force us to rethink the relationship between capitalism and democracy."--Paul Goodman, University of California, Davis

"A brilliant achievement. Combining vast scholarship with vivid, trenchant prose, Charles Sellers has produced a sweeping new interpretation of the economy, culture, and politics of antebellum America. Sellers' vision restores drama and historical coherence to the decades which witnessed a massive transformation of American life and a fundamental definition of our dominant national culture. The Market Revolution should fascinate general readers as it will compel the attention of professional historians."--Harry L. Watson, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"The book makes the reader ponder the role of capitalism in a democratic society, providing new ways of looking at a much-interpreted era."--History: Review of New Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195089202
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 729,996
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Sellers is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His two-volume biography of President James Polk won a Bancroft Prize in 1967.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    A excellent example of Marxist or Progressive history at its bes

    A excellent example of Marxist or Progressive history at its best; angry, passionate and written with a gimlet eye for how the apostles of market capitalism drew all of American society into their orbit in the 1st half of the 19th Century. One reads it with a sense that Professor Sellers would cheerfully volunteer for a dangerous time travel experiment for the chance to punch John Marshall in the jaw. I don't get to read enough history written with this level of personal animus about the topic. I recommend this book book for its own considerable value and for comparison to Daniel Walker Howe's "What Hath God Wrought" which covers the same ground from a nearly opposite perspective. (As a rule: If Seller's likes someone, Howe disapproves, while if Howe approves, Sellers despises. The one exception is John Calhoun: they both hate that guy.) Required reading in the best sense of the word for anyone interested in this often neglected period of U.S. history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2003

    sweeping, synthetic, powerfully opinionated.. a classic

    There's not much you can say about the Market Revolution. It's the only truly synthetic book I ever read, in that it combines all the various 'new' historigraphy, race/class/gender history, cliometric economic history, old-school political history, and religious history with a viewpoint so firmly held and powerfully articulated. Sellers is the last of the old-time progressive historians, who still resists the triumph of capital, even though it happened before he was born. You may not agree with his politics, but if you read this book, you'll have the entire landscape of the early republic present in your mind, as vivid as family, for the rest of your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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