Panic!: Markets, Crises, and Crowds in American Fiction / Edition 1

Panic!: Markets, Crises, and Crowds in American Fiction / Edition 1

by David A. Zimmerman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807856878

ISBN-13: 9780807856871

Pub. Date: 05/29/2006

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

During the economic depression of the 1890s and the speculative frenzy of the following decade, Wall Street, high finance, and market crises assumed unprecedented visibility in the United States. Fiction writers published scores of novels in the period that explored this new cultural phenomenon. In Panic!, David A. Zimmerman studies how American novelists

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Overview

During the economic depression of the 1890s and the speculative frenzy of the following decade, Wall Street, high finance, and market crises assumed unprecedented visibility in the United States. Fiction writers published scores of novels in the period that explored this new cultural phenomenon. In Panic!, David A. Zimmerman studies how American novelists and their readers imagined—and in one case, incited—market crashes and financial panics.

Panic! examines how Americans' attitudes toward securities markets, popular investment, and financial catastrophe were entangled with their conceptions of gender, class, crowds, corporations, and history. Zimmerman investigates how writers turned to mob psychology, psychic investigations, and conspiracy discourse to understand not only how financial markets worked, but also how mass acts of financial reading, including novel reading, could trigger economic disaster and cultural chaos. In addition, Zimmerman shows how, by concentrating on markets in crisis, novelists were able to explore the limits of fiction's aesthetic, economic, and ethical capacities. With readings of canonical as well as lesser-known novelists, Zimmerman provides an original and wide-ranging analysis of the relation between fiction and financial modernity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807856871
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
05/29/2006
Series:
Cultural Studies of the United States Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

1Panic and the petroleuse39
2I can do anything with words : Thomas Lawson's frenzied fictions81
3Frank Norris and the mesmeric sublime123
4Melodrama and the moral implications of financial panic151
5The Financier and the ends of accounting191

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