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Tipping: An American Social History of Gratuities

Overview

Though the history of tipping can be traced to the Middle Ages, the practice did not become widespread until the late 19th century. Initially, Americans reviled the custom, branding it un-American and undemocratic. The opposition gradually faded away and tipping became an American institution. The government was fairly quick to recognize tips as taxable income, but were far slower to use them in the calculation of unemployment insurance payments and social security benefits. Individuals came to grudgingly accept ...

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Overview

Though the history of tipping can be traced to the Middle Ages, the practice did not become widespread until the late 19th century. Initially, Americans reviled the custom, branding it un-American and undemocratic. The opposition gradually faded away and tipping became an American institution. The government was fairly quick to recognize tips as taxable income, but were far slower to use them in the calculation of unemployment insurance payments and social security benefits. Individuals came to grudgingly accept the practice, but many remain uncomfortable in tipping situations. From its beginnings in Europe to its development as a quintessentially American trait, this work provides a social history of tipping customs and how the United States became a nation of tippers.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The next time that you find yourself in a quandary about whether and how much to tip, consider that tipping was variously considered undemocratic, public nuisance number one, an American institution, and taxable income over the past 120 years. Includes earnings in various occupations and laws against tipping. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786442461
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/26/2009
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 1,156,304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Tipping Begins, Then Moves to America 1
2 "Illegal and Un-American": Tipping Practices 1880-1919 9
3 "Democracy's Deadly Foe": Tipping Responses 1880-1919 25
4 "Our Daily Bribe": Tipping Practices 1920-1949 45
5 "Tipping Is Forbidden, But Expected": Tipping Responses 1920-1949 59
6 "Public Nuisance Number One": Tipping Practices 1950-1969 81
7 "The Average Person Is Inherently a Tipper": Tipping Responses 1950-1969 93
8 "Surliness Prevails in the Tipped Professions": Tipping Practices 1970-1995 111
9 "Let Your Tip Do the Talking": Tipping Responses 1970-1995 121
App. 1 Earnings in Various Occupations 147
App. 2 Laws Against Tipping 149
Notes 155
Bibliography 171
Index 185
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