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Financing the American Dream:
A Cultural History of Consumer Credit
Lendol Calder

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1


"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


"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 cultureÖ. 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

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File created: 4/21/2017

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