In this comprehensive social history of the Bon Marché, the Parisian department store that was the largest in the world before 1914, Michael Miller explores the bourgeois identities, ambitions, and anxieties that the new emporia so vividly dramatized. Through an original interpretation of paternalism, public images, and family-firm relationships, he shows how this new business enterprise succeeded in reconciling traditional values with the coming of an age of mass consumption and bureaucracy.
"Michael Miller ... is able to breathe life into [the store's] ambitious owners and directors, pile its counter high with goods mundane and exotic, and people its aisles with obsequious clerks and glittering-eyed shoppers.... [He] has written an absorbing study that can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in modern techniques of mass selling or in French culture before World War I."--Jean T. Joughin, Business History Review
"Michael Miller has written a book that is both fascinating and original, about a large department store and its place not only in business history, but in the history of French society, culture, and bureaucracy."--Eugen Weber, The Times Literary Supplement
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