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book reviews177 to Fourier's, noting that while Bellamy was inspired in part by Fourier's socialism he made important concessions to Victorian privatism and bureaucratic nationalism. The essential spirit of Fourierism had finally been lost. While largely writing an intellectual history, Guarneri also vigorously pursues the social underpinnings of Fourierist communes. He notes the tendency of artisans to prefer phalanxes and middle-class Fourierists to prefer urban Fourierist societies. Neither phalanxes nor clubs, however, attracted common laborers. Those who joined phalanxes were generally familiar with Fourierist ideology, not naive victims of fast-talking promoters, and were often sufficiently committed to the principles to circulate to other communes when their own folded. In contrasting social ideals and daily reality in the phalanx, Guarneri draws a subtle, complex portrait of gender and class (but not ethnic) relations. While Fourierism did not deliver the social harmony and totally new society it promised, it did not remain chained to the past. It is through this variegated pattern of radical hopes and pragmatic adaptations that Guarneri communicates the lingering impact of Fourierism. People who experienced the commune even briefly were never quite the same thereafter. While Guarneri's decision to study Fourierism in its broader cultural context is on balance a wise one, it does have the disadvantage of making Fourierism seem more central to the culture than it perhaps was. Not all desires for community and human fulfillment in the antebellum era flowed through Fourierism and on to other reforms. Guarneri is sensitive to differing reformist perspectives but inevitably gives more attention to Fourierism. Nor can one see in this work the aspects of American culture that led most of the public , including many of those whom American Fourierists wished to help, to seek ways other than Utopian socialism of adapting to a pluralist, changing world. The relationship between Fourierism and the partisan political culture (or perhaps the lack thereof) needs further elaboration. No criticism, however , should detract from the fact that Guarneri has written a thoughtprovoking and original analysis of American Fourierism. Phyllis F. Field Ohio University Concepts ofFree Labor in Antebellum America. By Jonathan A. Glickstein. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991 . Pp. ix, 514, $50.00.) A fruitful way to uncover the social impulses behind the free labor ideology in antebellum America, argues Jonathan Glickstein, is to assess the perceptions of middle-class Americans toward mental and manual labor. The author uses such topics as education, manual labor schools, division of labor, the factory system, drudgery work, utopianism, and to a certain extent, slavery to find middle class evaluations of the nature of work. This is essentially intellectual history that relies on the written and spoken words of prominent Americans, impressively researched and exuberantly documented. Yet the I78CIVIL WAR HISTORY work has a puzzling quality that renders problematic its contribution to the task of clarifying the free labor ideology. The interpretive thrust of the work is that the American middle class possessed an ideology that prized mental activity and disdained manual labor. Despite the barrage of statements that all labor was dignified, the middle class found only mental labor noble and worthy. The middle class thereby incorporated hierarchy and inequality in its free labor advocacy. Glickstein compares this facet of free labor rhetoric to proslavery effusions. He finds that Southerners also proclaimed the nobility of labor—the labor of an inferior was nonetheless worthy labor. Thus Glickstein argues that proslavery and free labor ideologies actually converged and affirmed social inequality and hierarchy. Numerous parts of this book are strong and deserve the careful attention of scholars. Of especial merit are the sections dealing with popular responses to the division of labor, the factory system, and utopianism. Glickstein as well offers numerous interesting observations, such as how Americans understood social processes in Europe, the confusing mixture of old and new elements in the antebellum economy, and reactions to child chimney sweeps and the "death trades." Glickstein chose an excellent topic—popular perspectives on mental labor and manual labor—that has been wholly neglected; this book certainly fills that void. Yet the work has some unsatisfying qualities that dim the luster of its very real merits. The book is misnamed...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 177-179
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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