Born Losers

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - History - 362 pages
This 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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User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

My expectations for this book were high and the results were underwhelming. I was looking forward to revisiting American history through the eyes of pioneering merchants trying to carve out a living ... Read full review

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User Review  - maryoverton - LibraryThing

"'The great American Assumption,' noted W.E.B. DuBois, 'was that wealth is mainly the result of its owner's effort and that any average worker can by thrift become a capitalist.' But the post [Civil ... Read full review


Going Bust in the Age of GoAhead
A Reason in the Man
We Are All Speculators
Central Intelligence Agency since 1841
The Big Red Book of ThirdRate Men
Misinformation and Its Discontents
The War for Ambition
Big Business and Little Men
Attention Must Be Paid

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Popular passages

Page 15 - Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
Page 20 - If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Page 5 - The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live.

About the author (2005)

Scott A. Sandage is Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University.

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