Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit

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Februar 2001



"At last--an accessible and scholarly history of the American consumer's best friend and worst enemy."--James Grant, author of "Money of the Mind" and editor of "Grant's Interest Rate Observer"
"Lendol Calder is the first scholar in the field of modern U.S. social history to describe and analyze the century-long (1820s through 1920s) evolution of the incidence of debt, the availability of credit, and the prevailing attitudes toward both, as keystones to understanding twentieth-century changes in U.S. consumer culture. The quality of writing in the book is exceptional."--Otis A. Pease, University of Washington
"Calder has produced a book that will not only add to what we know about 'consumer culture, ' but will also force business historians to rethink the relative importance to the rise of consumerism of management innovations and advertising. Calder shows clearly that there is a third source of consumerism: installment credit."--William R. Childs, Ohio State University


Acknowledgments Pt. 1Getting Trusted: Debt and Credit before Consumer Credit Ch. 1Beautiful Credit! The Foundation of Modern Society Ch. 2Debt in the Victorian Money Management Ethic Pt. 2Getting the Goods: The Making of a Credit Revolution Ch. 3Small-Loan Lending and the Rise of the Personal Finance Company Ch. 4Hard Payments: The Rise of Installment Selling Pt. 3Getting Credit: The Legitimization of Consumer Debt Ch. 5From Consumptive Credit to Consumer Credit Ch. 6Consumer Credit in the Great Depression Epilogue Notes Index


Lendol Calder is Assistant Professor of History at Augustana College. Rock Island, Illnois.


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1999 "Americans feel ashamed about so-called consumption debt, writes Mr. Calder in prose that?s as clear as a bell, because they?re psychologically frozen in a 100-year-old mindset... Mr. Calder?s argument is so deliciously seditious that you have to wonder: What?s wrong with this picture? ... Mr. Calder?s sections on pawnbrokers, door-to-door peddlers and small lenders are worth the price of admission alone."--Cynthia Crossen, The Wall Street Journal "Contrary to those who piously and ahistorically rail against consumer debt as a modern fall from grace, Calder takes a much more nuanced and interesting view. [He] is to be commended for showing us the other side."--Reason "In a surprisingly lively book about a potentially dreary subject, Calder argues that debt is as American as apple pie and that consumer borrowing has been an important engine of economic growth."--Charles Stein, The Boston Globe "A broadly researched book on the history of US consumer credit that breaks new ground and revises prevailing views... This finely written volume is a major contribution..."--Choice "Those who complain that the debt represents an abandonment of thrift and a growing lack of willingness to defer gratification are wrong, claims Calder... [He] makes the case that today?s ?culture of consumption? arose as much from the availability of credit as from the efforts of advertisers and marketers."--Booklist "Calder is at his best ... drawing extensively on anecdotal and literary evidence to create a lively narrative."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "There was never a golden age when everybody paid cash... Moreover, Calder?s research convinced him that, far from creating a nation of hedonistic wastrels, consumer credit?s rigorous system of monthly payments imposes a puritanical discipline of hard work and thrift."--The New Yorker "A colorful narrative style and clear, strong arguments will help readers understand this aspect of American social and economic life."--Library Journal "Calder's work greatly increases our understanding of the rise of consumer culture in America."--Jonathan Silva, The Historian "[An] informative and accessible volume. Utilizing a wide range of sources ... Calder examines the cultural matrix of consumer credit in the United States from the Gilded Age to the New Deal."--Stephanie Dyer, Enterprise & Society "In the best tradition of cultural history, Lendol Calder explores the fusion of materialistic and idealistic impulses within the much-heralded American Dream... Financing the American Dream is an institutional history of the consumer credit industry, a social history of consumers, and a cultural history of debt. It not only suggests how Americans learned to pay for goods in creative ways but explains the process by which consumer credit came to receive widespread moral sanction... Calder has given us an important contribution to American social and cultural history that places consumerism in the rich context it deserves."--David A. Horowitz, Journal of Social History
EAN: 9780691074559
ISBN: 0691074550
Untertitel: Revised. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 2001
Seitenanzahl: 400 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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