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Books > Business & Money > Economics > Economic History > 0674281403
  1. Progressive Inequality: Rich and Poor in New York, 1890-1920
    Progressive Inequality: Rich and Poor in New York, 1890-1920
    Progressive Inequality: Rich and Poor in New York, 1890-1920
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  2. Progressive Inequality: Rich and Poor in New York, 1890-1920

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (2 reviews)
    Price R1083.00

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The Progressive Era has been depicted as a seismic event in American history--a landslide of reform that curbed capitalist excesses and reduced the gulf between rich and poor. Progressive Inequality cuts against the grain of this popular consensus, demonstrating how income inequality's growth prior to the stock market crash of 1929 continued to aggravate class divisions. As David Huyssen makes clear, Progressive attempts to alleviate economic injustice often had the effect of entrenching class animosity, making it more, not less, acute.

Huyssen interweaves dramatic stories of wealthy and poor New Yorkers at the turn of the twentieth century, uncovering how initiatives in charity, labor struggles, and housing reform chafed against social, economic, and cultural differences. These cross-class actions took three main forms: prescription, in which the rich attempted to dictate the behavior of the poor; cooperation, in which mutual interest engendered good-faith collaboration; and conflict, in which sharply diverging interests produced escalating class violence. In cases where reform backfired, it reinforced a set of class biases that remain prevalent in America today, especially the notion that wealth derives from individual merit and poverty from lack of initiative.

A major contribution to the history of American capitalism, Progressive Inequality makes tangible the abstract dynamics of class relations by recovering the lived encounters between rich and poor--as allies, adversaries, or subjects to inculcate--and opens a rare window onto economic and social debates in our own time.

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David Huyssen
Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press
Harvard University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

An excellent book. A very creative approach. I enjoyed it very much.
Just read the first page and you'll be hooked. This book brings an era to life with richly researched stories that are beautifully and sympathetically presented. It illustrates well the tension between i) well-intentioned dispensers of charity that may have created a culture of dependency and ii) the need to treat the less fortunate with justice, respect and dignity. Anyone trying to understand the roots of inequality in our country should read this book. I can't say I agree with all of Huyssen's conclusions but I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page.
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