100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture

Paperback | February 27, 1997

byTimothy B. Spears

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Vividly illustrated, this lively book presents the first in-depth study of the traveling salesman, illuminating his role in American culture from 1830 to 1920. Drawing on letters, diaries, and autobiographies, as well as on literary works by Crane, Dreiser, Lewis, and Miller, Spears examines the impact of the commercial traveler both on the national market economy and on American imagination.

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From Our Editors

Even today, in Death of a Salesman and The Music Man, the traveling salesman is an intriguing, almost mythic figure. In this lively and vividly illustrated account - the first in-depth study of the traveling salesman, or "drummer" - Timothy Spears investigates the salesman's role in American culture during his heyday, between 1830 and ...

From the Publisher

Vividly illustrated, this lively book presents the first in-depth study of the traveling salesman, illuminating his role in American culture from 1830 to 1920. Drawing on letters, diaries, and autobiographies, as well as on literary works by Crane, Dreiser, Lewis, and Miller, Spears examines the impact of the commercial traveler both o...

From the Jacket

Even today, in Death of a Salesman and The Music Man, the traveling salesman is an intriguing, almost mythic figure. In this lively and vividly illustrated account - the first in-depth study of the traveling salesman, or "drummer" - Timothy Spears investigates the salesman's role in American culture during his heyday, between 1830 and ...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:February 27, 1997Publisher:Yale University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300070667

ISBN - 13:9780300070668

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From Our Editors

Even today, in Death of a Salesman and The Music Man, the traveling salesman is an intriguing, almost mythic figure. In this lively and vividly illustrated account - the first in-depth study of the traveling salesman, or "drummer" - Timothy Spears investigates the salesman's role in American culture during his heyday, between 1830 and 1920. Drawing on such sources as diaries, advice manuals, autobiographies, and trade journals, Spears shows how traveling salesmen shaped the customs of life on the road, established the foundations of "scientific salesmanship", and helped to develop modern consumer culture. Spears reconstructs the cultural history of face-to-face sales during this period, describing the nature of traveling life, the development of strategies for selling to the trade rather than door-to-door, and the problematic relationship of the salesman to society - first as the agent of an emergent, intrusive market and later as a target for critics of "vulgar" commercialism. Throughout, Spears offers original and persuasive readings of works by Arthur Miller, S