Character Is Capital: Success Manuals and Manhood in Gilded Age America (Hardback)Judy Hilkey (author)
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 30/09/1997
- Not available
In late nineteenth-century America, a new type of book became commonplace in millions of homes across the country. Volumes sporting such titles as The Way to Win and Onward to Fame and Fortune promised to show young men how to succeed in life. But despite their upbeat titles, success manuals offered neither practical business advice nor a simple celebration of the American Dream. Instead, as Judy Hilkey reveals, they presented a dire picture of an uncertain new age, portraying life in the newly industrialized nation as a brutal struggle for survival, but arguing that adherence to old-fashioned virtues enabled any determined man to succeed. Hilkey offers a cultural history of success manuals and the industry that produced and marketed them. She examines the books' appearance, iconography, and intended audience--primarily native-born, rural and small-town men of modest means and education--and explores the genre's use of gendered language to equate manhood with success, femininity with failure. Ultimately, argues Hilkey, by articulating a worldview that helped legitimate the new social order to those most threatened by it, success manuals urged readers to accommodate themselves to the demands of life in the industrial age.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
You may also be interested in...
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at