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Thrift and Thriving in America – Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Thrift and Thriving in America: Capitalism and Moral Order from the Puritans to the Present

Joshua Yates and James Davison Hunter


This book is about the seminal importance of thrift to American culture and history. Underpinning the 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. This book puts thrift in this more expansive light where it reveals its rich an ... More

Keywords: thrift, American culture, saving, scrimping, capaciousness, dynamism, American history, thriving, good society

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199769063
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769063.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joshua Yates, editor
University of Virginia

James Davison Hunter, editor
University of Virginia

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1 Introduction

James Davison Hunter and Joshua J. Yates

Part I The Emergence of Thrift in Early America, 1630–1880

4 Saving Grace and Moral Striving

James Calvin Davis and Charles Mathewes

5 Thrift and Prosperity

Stephen Innes

Part II The Modernization of Thrift: Years of Transition and Transformation, 1880–1950

9 The Modernization of Thrift

T. J. Jackson Lears

10 Thrift and Moral Formation

James Davison Hunter

11 The Virtue of Consumption

Lawrence B. Glickman

12 Thrift and Advertising

Jennifer Scanlon

13 Hard Payments

Lendol Calder

15 Immigrants and Thrift

David M. Reimers

Part III Thriving after Thrift? Prosperity and Crisis since 1950

21 Thrift and Waste in American History

J. R. McNeill and George Vrtis

22 Disputing Abundance

Joshua J. Yates

23 Conclusion: Thrift and Thriving

Joshua J. Yates and James Davison Hunter

End Matter