Paradoxes of Prosperity: Wealth-Seeking Versus Christian Values in Pre-Civil War America

Lorman A. Ratner, Paula T. Kaufman, Dwight L. Teeter

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


In the midst of the United States' immense economic growth in the 1850s, Americans worried about whether the booming agricultural, industrial, and commercial expansion came at the price of cherished American values such as honesty, hard work, and dedication to the common good. This study examines how popular writers and widely read newspapers, magazines, and books expressed social tensions between prosperity and morality. The authors draw on that nationwide conversation through leading mass media, including newspapers such as the New York Herald and the New York Tribune; best-selling magazines aimed at middle-class tastes, Harper's Magazine and the Southern Literary Messenger; novels by women authors Susan Warner, Maria Cummins, and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and works by novelist George Lippard, historian George Bancroft, and travel writer Bayard Taylor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
Number of pages168
ISBN (Electronic)9780252092220
ISBN (Print)9780252034534
StatePublished - Aug 24 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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