Paradoxes of Prosperity
Wealth-Seeking Versus Christian Values in Pre-Civil War America
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Table of Contents
This book is the idea of Professor Lorman “Larry” A. Ratner, emeritus professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and, from 1999–2007, adjunct professor...
Kim Matherly, administrative assistant at the University of Illinois libraries, provided superb research and manuscript-vetting help. The authors are greatly in her debt. University of Tennessee Special Collections Librarians Elizabeth G. Dunham...
Overshadowed by the Civil War—and the more than 50,000 books written about it—the cultural life of the United States in the 1850s often seems to be remembered only as a prelude to the great divide in American history. As that decade passed, the paradox...
1. Communicatiing the Prosperity-Morality Paradox during the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Publishing Boom
At mid-century, Americans confronted two compelling paradoxes: slavery in a land founded on the value of freedom, and an aggressive pursuit of wealth that enriched the republic...
2. New York's Newspaper Giants during the Anxious 1850s
In the 1850s, no part of America’s mass media was more pervasive than the newspaper, and no paper had more readers than either the New York Herald or the New York Tribune.1 In addition...
3. Two Newspapers, South and West
Although New York City was home to the nation’s most widely read newspapers, the number of papers and their readers grew dramatically in all parts of the country. In the places where they circulated, these newspapers both influenced and...
4. Harper's Magazine and the Southern Literary Messenger: Self-Styled Guardians of the Republic
In 1850, the Harper brothers, whose New York publishing business was flourishing, decided to launch a magazine. They planned to use it to publicize the books they published and to attract additional authors.1 Publishing the magazine turned out to be...
5. Godey's Lady's Book: The Guide for Middle-Class Women
By the 1850s, women were a substantial portion of America’s reading public. During the first half of the century, the literacy rate for women grew significantly. Historian Richard D. Brown has suggested that female literacy emerged as a...
6. Merchant Magazines: The Businessman's Guide and Conscience
Many of the critics of America’s booming economy and its entrepreneurs were not directly involved in the marketplace: women, clergy, and intellectuals, among others. But even those who worked in the marketplace and publishers of...
7. Women Writers: Defending the Christian Republic
Despite daunting odds and discouraging social pressures, the names of women often appeared among the mid-nineteenth century’s best-selling authors. What those women wrote profited them and gave them a voice in the ongoing...
8. Male Writers: Wrestling with the Marketplace
Because women were a large portion of the reading public, no writer who hoped to sell a lot of books could afford to write something women would be likely to reject.1 The women writers discussed in this study employed what literary critics...
9. Past Times and Faraway Places
While American readers of the 1850s had a taste for novels, authors of history and biography also found a large reading audience for stories of past glories and heroic figures. If about American glory or an American hero, such material sparked...
Americans of the 1850s were troubled by the seeming contradictions between their marketplace lives and their Christian and republican values. They could not have known that the Civil War would come in 1861, any more than Americans...
Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2009
OCLC Number: 811409087
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