The American Bourgeoisie: Distinction and Identity in the Nineteenth Century edited by Sven Beckert and Julia B. Rosenbaum

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What precisely constitutes an American bourgeoisie? Scholars have grappled with the question for a long time. Economic positions—the ownership of capital, for instance—most obviously define this group but cannot explain the emergence of shared identities or the capacity for collective action: after all, economic interests frequently drove capital-rich Americans apart as they competed for markets or governmental favors. Engaging fundamental questions about American society in the nineteenth century, this book argues that one of the most important factors in the self-definition of the bourgeoisie was its articulation of a shared culture.

Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
ISBN: 9780230102941. 284 pp.
Hardcover. Fine.