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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In the second chapter, Trachtenberg examines the rise of mechanization, which, when combined with the myth of the West, came to represent progress. This is both ironic and tragic in two ways. Aug 02, Slan Mcelligott rated it really liked it Shelves: Be the first to ask a question about The Incorporation of America.

A trachhenberg part of this displacement was technological expansion. Professor Emeritus of English and American studies at Yale University, where he taught for thirty-five years. However, “The Incorporation of America” ignores race and almost completely ignores gender.

The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age

Please provide an email trachtenbwrg. If I ever research or write about any of the topics Trachtenberg addresses, the extensive and updated bibliographic essay at the back of the book will be an excellent source for discovering secondary literature. Trachtenberg’s main contention is that the growing number and power of large corporations tore America away from its familiar values, and these changes manifested themselves sharply in cultural elements of society.

In conclusion, he offers a highly problematic reformulation of travhtenberg 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. Aug 22, matt Sandler rated it it was amazing. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.


If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. These flaws, however, are minor.

The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age by Alan Trachtenberg

But another part of the message was precisely to keep that alliance aloof, not so much hidden and disguised but above reproach, beyond criticism. Trachtenberg’s use of the Chicago World’s fair in as a symbol for this competition is potent. The final tbe is the White City trachtebnerg the World’s Columbian Exposition as the “symbolic terminus change from a community based on equality to one based on consumption.

However, Alan Trachtenberg’s The Incorporation of America provides fresh insight into the period through his study of culture, with specific attention to the tension between the cultural impetus of the lower class as opposed to the middle and upper classes. To ask other readers questions about The Incorporation of Americaplease sign up.

A classic look at the changes in American society during the s the years of Twain’s “Gilded Age”, the the years of railway expansion and labour violence and the emergence of the corporation as a key feature of the American economy. This book illuminates the major cultural cleavages of a tumultuous age. Jul 11, Dan Gorman rated it it incorporatlon amazing Shelves: Revised and Expanded Bibliographical Essay.


Trachtenberg also notes how cities trachtenberb culture, making Americans into spectators of experiences through advertising, newspapers, and communications technology. Mar 06, DoctorM rated it really liked it Shelves: This book examine the origin of the conflict between individualism and corporation; a conflict which “still persists”.


Westward expansion, mechanization, the separation of labor and capital and the emergence of three classes – working, middle, and elite; the rise of the metropolis; political change and the emergence of parties of reform and protest; and the literature and the evolution of realism in fiction.

Most importantly, in this fight over values, the state came down on the side of capital to the point of inflicting violence on its own citizens. Email alerts New issue alert. Myths about the virtue of productivity and progress and metaphorical relations with mechanization obscured the evils of the reality of rapid mechanization and incorporation, including such un-American features as increased social stratification and decreased individual autonomy.

Jul 11, Ja rated it liked it.

I particularly like the last chapter on the White City which is used as a culminating case study to tie the incorppration argument together. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

This oversight is particularly strong in the sections on department stores and labor culture. Provides really interesting insight into the use of spectacle to cover up the darker side of industrialization.