Hobbies: Leisure and the Culture of Work in America

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Columbia University Press, Aug 13, 2013 - Crafts & Hobbies - 400 pages
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Why do we fill our leisure time with the activities we do? And what do our hobbies say about our culture? Gelber traces the history of hobbies from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1950s, demonstrating that, although they are touted as a break from work, hobbies actually reflect the values of the workplace.

 

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Contents

Context and Theory
1
Occupations for Free Time
23
The Collectible Object
59
Collectors
78
Constructing a Collectors Market
107
Deconstructing a Collectors Market
129
Crafts Tools and Gender in the Nineteenth Century
155
Expanding the Boundaries of Crafts
193
Home Crafts in Hard Times
224
Assembly as Craft
255
Expected Leisure
268
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Page 1 - How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day From every opening flower!
Page 7 - Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.

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About the author (2013)

Stephen Gelber is professor of history and chair of the History Department at Santa Clara University. He is the author of Black Men and Businessmen: The Growing Awareness of a Social Responsibility and Saving the Earth: The History of a Middle-Class Millenarian Movement.


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