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On the Make
Author: Brian P. Luskey

ISBN: 9780814752289
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 287
Published: 16 June 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 583.0 x 389.5 x 2.3
Description:


In the bustling cities of the mid-nineteenth-century Northeast, young male clerks working in commercial offices and stores were on the make, persistently seeking wealth, respect, and self-gratification. Yet these strivers and "counter jumpers" discovered that claiming the identities of independent men--while making sense of a volatile capitalist economy and fluid urban society--was fraught with uncertainty.

In On the Make, Brian P. Luskey illuminates at once the power of the ideology of self-making and the important contests over the meanings of respectability, manhood, and citizenship that helped to determine who clerks were and who they would become. Drawing from a rich array of archival materials, including clerks' diaries, newspapers, credit reports, census data, advice literature, and fiction, Luskey argues that a better understanding of clerks and clerking helps make sense of the culture of capitalism and the society it shaped in this pivotal era.

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