Born Losers A History of Failure in America
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Description: What makes somebody a Loser, a person doomed to unfulfilled dreams and humiliation? Nobody is born to lose, and yet failure embodies our worst fears. The Loser is our national bogeyman, and his history over the past two hundred years reveals the dark side of success, how economic striving reshaped the self and soul of America. From colonial days to the Columbine tragedy, Scott Sandage explores how failure evolved from a business loss into a personality deficit, from a career setback to a gauge of our self-worth. From hundreds of private diaries, family letters, business records, and even early credit reports, Sandage reconstructs the dramas of real-life Willy Lomans. He unearths their confessions and denials, foolish hopes and lost faith, sticking places and changing times. Dreamers, suckers, and nobodies come to life in the major scenes of American history, like the Civil War and the approach of big business, showing how the national quest for success remade the individual ordeal of failure. Born Losers is a pioneering work of American cultural history, which connects everyday attitudes and anxieties about failure to lofty ideals of individualism and salesmanship of self. Sandage's storytelling will resonate with all of us as it brings to life forgotten men and women who wrestled with The Loser--the label and the experience--in the days when American capitalism was building a nation of winners.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $24.50
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/30/2006
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Scott A. Sandage is Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University.
|List of Illustrations|
|Prologue: Lives of Quiet Desperation|
|Going Bust in the Age of Go-Ahead|
|A Reason in the Man|
|We Are All Speculators|
|Central Intelligence Agency, since 1841|
|The Big Red Book of Third-Rate Men|
|Misinformation and Its Discontents|
|The War for Ambition|
|Big Business and Little Men Epilogue: Attention Must Be Paid|