Alan Trachtenberg. The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age. (American Century Series.) New York: Hill and Wang. Reviewed Work(s): The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age. by Alan Trachtenberg. Review by: Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz. Source: . A classic examination of the roots of corporate culture, newly revised and updated for the twenty first century. Alan Trachtenberg presents a.

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Trachtenberg looks at the shifting of meaning within the American view of labour the ways in which the pre Republican ideal of “free labour”, the ideal of the autonomous skilled labourer who would one day be a proprietor and a property owner was replaced by a view of “labour” as wage work, done by an unskilled and often foreign i. Mar 06, DoctorM rated it really liked it Shelves: There’s definitely has a lot material here if Trachtenberg gets kind of lost here.

A fascinating look at the role that incorporation has had on the politics and culture of America. Incorporation also institutionalized knowledge and fragmented it through specialization. He provides an interesting characterization of department stores as providing for consumerism while simultaneously teaching Americans how their purchases should be categorized and prioritized into a new cosmopolitan lifestyle. May 15, Ernie rated it liked it Shelves: I particularly like the last chapter on the White City which is used as a culminating case study to tie the author’s argument together.

Apr 09, Laura Houlette rated it liked it. At the same time, populism arose as a reaction to the corporate control of politics, but it was swallowed up in the deep swaths cut by ethnic and religious diversity. Election campaigns became sales campaigns, and politics became a business, and candidates were subordinate to the party bosses and money.

Please provide an email address. Jul 04, Wclorick rated it it was amazing. Michaele rated it it was ok Oct 07, He is also quick to draw attention to the very tangible effects of a technological boom on societal structures. His use of novels, poetry, popular journalism, and other sources is particularly inspired.

By the ‘s, then, the Indian had been incorporated into America no longer simply as ‘savage,’ a fantasy object of ambivalent romantic identification or racial hatred, but as ‘lowest order,’ outcast and pariah who represented the fate of all those who do not work, do not own, do not prefer the benefits of legal status within the hierarchies of modern institutions to the prerogatives of freedom and cultural autonomy” It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.


This oversight is particularly strong in the sections on department stores and labor culture. Trachtenberg also looks at the ways in which the old, Emersonian sense of American promise was replaced by the fear amongst older elites that “republican virtue” and Protestant ascendancy would ths replaced by a “European” world of urban class conflict. Apr 25, B rated it liked it Shelves: Bourgeois Americans championed their corporations while still clinging to some Victorian beliefs, particularly edifying entertainments trachtrnberg the patriarchal family.


Written inthis book gives an interesting overview of US social and cultural history from the end of the Civil War through the beginning of the 20th century.

Stephanie rated it really liked it Jan 28, Sign In or Create an Account. References to this book Reconstructing Womanhood: As the nation spread into this land, which quickly became mapped by the government and viewed as a source of raw materials by corporate business interests, many Americans had a sense of losing something special, something defining. This is an early well, mid year front runner for best book I’ve read all year.

But exhaustive and detailed. In rough sequence, industrialization led to the need for more raw materials, the rise of private corporations with shareholders, the proliferation of such corporations, the standardization of time, the government’s favorable business connections under successive Republican presidents, the Excellent collection of essays on the Gilded Age and the United States’s transition from a regional to a national, industrialized economy.

The Incorporation of America – Alan Trachtenberg – Google Books

The book also emphasizes the irony that the products of labor are essentially packaged and inclrporation back to the laborers in an unrecognizable form. Selected pages Title Page. Good for classroom use, general introduction to the Gilded Age, and Ph. Common terms and phrases advertisement American American Railway Union Billy Amercia Budd buildings campaign capital capitalist century character Chicago Civil corporate critical culture decades Democratic dime novels economic Edison eight-hour day enterprise especially essay experience factory Fair fiction Gilded Age Henry Howells Howells’s human ideal immigrant implied incorporation Indian industrial intellectual Knights of Labor labor land Leo Marx literary Literary Realism Louis Sullivan machine machinery Mark Twain mass mechanical ment middle-class modern movement novel Yhe organization ownership park party perceptions political popular production Pullman Pullman strike radical railroad realism reform regions represented Republican role seemed served social society space spectacle strike style Sullivan Thomas Eakins tion tive ture Turner union urban trachtrnberg vision wealth West White City Whitman word workers working-class World’s Columbian Exposition writes wrote York.


The sweeping changes in technology, society, politics, and business in the latter half of the nineteenth century are fairly obvious to most observers and well-trodden in the historiography.

A little wordy and lacks foot notes which is frustrating for a history student but a good read none the less. A classic of cultural history. In conclusion, he offers a highly problematic reformulation of the conflict between “”corporations”” and “”workers”” as a conflict, also, between “”a notion of culture as pleasing prospect”” and a “”still emerging but older notion of culture as solidarity.

These flaws, however, are minor. Through these times of tension, culture attempted to unite people behind incorporated interests, and new lifestyles transformed a life based primarily on tangible experience to one of spectacle. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. It is also one of the first books I’ve read that I purchased solely based on an Amazon.

Trachtenberg captures the effects of incorporation throughout society. Trachtenberg explores how the industrial revolution and the expansion of the capitalist system influenced culture in the United States. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Trachtenberg begins his study with Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. I enjoyed this book. You do not currently have access to this article. Trachtenberg’s main contention is that the growing n The sweeping changes in technology, society, politics, and business in the latter half of the nineteenth century are fairly obvious to most observers and well-trodden in the historiography.

Published February 6th by Hill and Wang first published March A classic examination of the roots of corporate culture, newly revised and updated for the twenty first century Alan Trachtenberg presents a balanced analysis of the expansion of capitalist power in the last third of the nineteenth century and the cultural changes it brought in its wake.

A little rambling and encompassed a lot of peripheral topics. Overall, Trachtenberg makes the persuasive claim that incorporation dominated the Gilded Age, but the transformation of the economy provoked strong pushback. Trachtenberg gets kind of lost here.