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Upward Mobility and the Common Good:
Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State
Bruce Robbins

Book Description | Reviews
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PREFACE: Someone Else's Life ix
INTRODUCTION: The Fairy Godmother 1
"Advancement, of course" 1
"I don't want to be patronised" 10
Description of the Chapters 17

CHAPTER ONE: Erotic Patronage: Rousseau, Constant, Balzac, Stendhal 22
Older Women 22
Interest, Disinterest, and Boredom 32
The Acquisition of the Donor 38
". . . something a bit like love" 50

CHAPTER TWO: How to Be a Benefactor without Any Money 55
"My brother's body lies dead and naked . . ." 55
Saving Boys: Horatio Alger 67
"I wouldn't keep a pig in it myself": Great Expectations 73

CHAPTER THREE: "It's not your fault": Therapy and Irresponsibility from Dreiser to Doctorow 86
Styles of Radical Antistatism: D. A. Miller and Christopher Lasch 86
Loyalty and Blame in Dreiser's The Financier 96
". . . take hospitals, the cops and garbage collection": Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? 109
"I like . . . to be reliable": E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate 117

CHAPTER FOUR: A Portrait of the Artist as a Rentier 127
"Where are your nobles now?": Bohemia in Kipps, My Brilliant Career, and Trilby 127
"I don't think I should be unhappy in the workhouse": George Gissing, Perry Anderson, and the Unproductive Classes 136
"You're a Town Hall wallah, aren't you?": Pygmalion and Room at the Top 145

CHAPTER FIVE: The Health Visitor 158
Dumpy: Carolyn Steedman's Landscape for a Good Woman 158
Personal: Richard Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory 167
Help: Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" and Alan Sillitoe's "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner" 179
"I hate lawyers. I just work for them": Erin Brockovich 186

CHAPTER SIX: On the Persistence of Anger in the Institutions of Caring 190
Anger 190
Caring: Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go 199
Rising in Sociology: Pierre Bourdieu, Paul Willis, and Richard Sennett 210
Coda: Anger, Caring, and Merit 229
CONCLUSION: The Luck of Birth and the International Division of Labor 232

Notes 245
Index 289

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File created: 11/11/2014

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