Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present

Anno: 2011
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 640 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 244 x 177 mm
Peso: 1016 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199769063
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Thrift and Thriving in America is a collection of groundbreaking essays from leading scholars across the humanities and social sciences on the seminal importance of thrift to American culture and history. Underpinning the rich diversity of disciplinary perspectives presented in this volume are two overarching claims. First, far from the narrow rendering of thrift as a synonym of saving and scrimping, thrift possesses a surprising capaciousness and dynamism. Second, the idiom of thrift has, in one form or another, served as the primary language for articulating the normative dimensions of economic life throughout much of American history. Thrift and Thriving in America puts thrift in this more expansive light where it reveals its rich and compelling etymology: thrift originally referred to the condition of "thriving." This deeper meaning has always operated as the subtext of thrift and at times has even been invoked to critique more restricted notions of thrift. So understood, thrift moves beyond the instrumentalities of "more or less" and begs the question: what does it mean and take to thrive? Examining how Americans have answered this question not only provides insight into evolving meanings of material well-being, but also into the changing understandings of the good life and the good society more generally. In these essays, thrift becomes a powerful, but evolving moral idea and practice that has indelibly marked the character of American life since its earliest days. Thrift remains, if perhaps in unexpected and counter-intuitive ways, a key to the complex issues of contemporary and economic life.