Reading The Market: Genres Of Financial Capitalism In Gilded Age America by Peter KnightReading The Market: Genres Of Financial Capitalism In Gilded Age America by Peter Knight

Reading The Market: Genres Of Financial Capitalism In Gilded Age America

byPeter Knight

Hardcover | July 18, 2016

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Americans pay famously close attention to "the market," obsessively watching trends, patterns, and swings and looking for clues in every fluctuation. In Reading the Market, Peter Knight explores the Gilded Age origins and development of this peculiar interest. He tracks the historic shift in market operations from local to national while examining how present-day ideas about the nature of markets are tied to past genres of financial representation.

Drawing on the late nineteenth-century explosion of art, literature, and media, which sought to dramatize the workings of the stock market for a wide audience, Knight shows how ordinary Americans became both emotionally and financially invested in the market. He analyzes popular investment manuals, brokers’ newsletters, newspaper columns, magazine articles, illustrations, and cartoons. He also introduces readers to fiction featuring financial tricksters, which was characterized by themes of personal trust and insider information. The book reveals how the popular culture of the period shaped the very idea of the market as a self-regulating mechanism by making the impersonal abstractions of high finance personal and concrete.

From the rise of ticker-tape technology to the development of conspiracy theories, Reading the Market argues that commentary on the Stock Exchange between 1870 and 1915 changed how Americans understood finance—and explains what our pervasive interest in Wall Street says about us now.

Peter Knight is a professor of American studies at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Conspiracy Culture: From Kennedy to The X Files and The Kennedy Assassination.
Title:Reading The Market: Genres Of Financial Capitalism In Gilded Age AmericaFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.06 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 1.06 inPublished:July 18, 2016Publisher:Johns Hopkins University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1421420600

ISBN - 13:9781421420608


Editorial Reviews

Reading the Market offers many evidentiary and analytical gems... A provocative and well-written study, this book also adds new dimension to our understanding of the literatures and popular culture of American finance. Knight’s model literary analysis should provide ample material for students of American studies and cultural history, and could easily be incorporated into advanced undergraduate and graduate-level coursework.