The Culture of the Market: Historical Essays

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Scholars have only recently begun to appreciate the extent to which the norms and practices that foster market societies have been shifting and conflict-ridden. The thirteen essays collected in this volume embrace the view that the experiences and feelings engendered by the historical development of market societies have been, and still remain, open to a broad range of interpretations. They also share the characteristic accents of a new approach to cultural history, in which careful examination of actions, texts, and artifacts is accompanied by an open-mindedness about what their examination reveals.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Culture of the Market is an imaginative, wide-ranging, and lucid exploration of its theme. At a time when a simplistic rhetoric of the market is commonplace, these essays, with their historical concreteness, multifaceted perspectives, and nuanced understanding of the embeddedness and implications of the market, are both timely and powerful. The contributors are outstanding scholars; the cumulative effect of their work is profound. The whole is a tribute to the value of issue-focused interdisciplinary scholarship." Thomas Bender, New York University

"...all [the essays] are of an impressive standard of scholarship....[They] explore areas that will be new even to specialists." Nathan Glazer, Times Literary Supplement

"...[These essays] are without exception careful and thoughtful, and taken together they demonstrate conclusively that there were indeed structures of thinking and feeling that must be called a culture for the market. That alone makes the book worth reading." The Journal of American History

"The contributors are experienced and adventurous practitioners in their fields. Together they offer a sophisticated diversity of views, expounded with verve....[T]he volume is replete with carefully crafted studies of ambiguous and paradoxical relationships. It explores the pervasive ideas and ideals of the market, extracted from a shifting and mutable culture." Beverly Lemire, Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521564786
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Series: Murphy Institute Studies in Political EC Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of contributors; Plates; Introduction: the culture of the market; Part I. Market Regimes Old and New: 1. The ruling class in the market place: nobles and money in early modern France; 2. Territorial gardens: the control of land in seventeenth-century French formal gardens; 3. Money, equality, fraternity: freemasonry and the social order in eighteenth-century Europe; 4. Market culture, reckless passion and the Victorian reconstruction of punishment; Part II. Personality and Authority in the Age of Capital: 5. New cultural heroes in the early national period; 6. Preserving 'the natural equality of rank and influence' liberalism, republicanism and equality of condition in Jacksonian politics; 7. Banking on language: the currency of Alexander Bryan Johnson; Part III. The Lens of 'High' Culture: 8. An entrepreneur in spite of himself: Edgar Dégas and the market; 9. A Yankee Diogenes: Thoreau and the market; 10. Need and honour in Balzac's Père Goriot: reflections on a vision of laissez-faire society; Part IV. Agency and Structure: 11. The reformist dimensions of Talcott Parsons's early social theory; 12. The strange career of The Lonely Crowd: or the antinomies of autonomy; 13. Persons as uncaused causes: John Stuart Mill, The Spirit of Capitalism, and the 'invention' of formalism; Index.
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