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The ties that buy : women and commerce in revolutionary America /
Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor.
imprint
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2009.
description
253 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
0812241444 (alk. paper), 9780812241440 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
series title
imprint
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2009.
isbn
0812241444 (alk. paper)
9780812241440 (alk. paper)
contents note
Urban housefuls -- Work in the Atlantic service economy -- Family credit and shared debts -- Translating money -- Shopping networks and consumption as collaboration -- The republic of goods.
catalogue key
6783929
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-08-01:
In this volume, Hartigan-O'Connor (history, UC-Davis) undertakes to emphasize the role of women in the economy of post-Revolutionary America, a theme developed in her recent writings. The introduction promises a great deal, suggesting that perhaps feminist economic history might be moving beyond traditional institutional studies--with an emphasis on the masculine--to network analysis in which the role of women can be seen to form an integral part of the broader emerging US economy. Unfortunately, subsequent chapters do not deliver, since much of the analysis relies on piecemeal data on a precious few women in Charleston, South Carolina, and Newport, Rhode Island. This is compounded by a tedious writing style, typical of economic history texts in general. Granted, the early record excluded women in a number of ways, but paying lip service to network analysis as simply a metaphor for the role of women rather than actually developing the web of transactions in which women were involved is a grave shortcoming of this book. Nevertheless, there are promising themes such as the evolution of credit instruments, women's access to credit, and the emergence of a broad Atlantic market that warrant recognition. Summing Up: Optional. Upper-division undergraduate collections. B. Roman Palo Alto College/University of Western Ontario
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In this nuanced and innovative book, Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor moves female economic life from the margins of society to the center--where it belongs. Instead of focusing on the great merchants, she explains how and why women of all ranks were central to economic development. And by taking a new and intriguing approach to consumerism, she shows how the production and importation of goods transformed women's lives. This is a creative and important work."--Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University
"In this nuanced and innovative book, Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor moves female economic life from the margins of society to the center-where it belongs. Instead of focusing on the great merchants, she explains how and why women of all ranks were central to economic development. And by taking a new and intriguing approach to consumerism, she shows how the production and importation of goods transformed women's lives. This is a creative and important work."-Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University
"The Ties That Buychallenges our assumptions about the eighteenth-century American marketplace and the world of commerce. In the author's eyes, this world was not a male-defined or even male-dominated space. Poor, middling, and elite women as well as free and enslaved African American women were a significant presence as savvy entrepreneurs, producers, and consumers who knew about commodities. They also knew about money--how to get it, how to use it, how to spend it. I know of no other book that covers these themes in such a succinct and interesting way."--Susan Branson, Syracuse University
" The Ties That Buy challenges our assumptions about the eighteenth-century American marketplace and the world of commerce. In the author's eyes, this world was not a male-defined or even male-dominated space. Poor, middling, and elite women as well as free and enslaved African American women were a significant presence as savvy entrepreneurs, producers, and consumers who knew about commodities. They also knew about money--how to get it, how to use it, how to spend it. I know of no other book that covers these themes in such a succinct and interesting way."--Susan Branson, Syracuse University
" The Ties That Buy challenges our assumptions about the eighteenth-century American marketplace and the world of commerce. In the author's eyes, this world was not a male-defined or even male-dominated space. Poor, middling, and elite women as well as free and enslaved African American women were a significant presence as savvy entrepreneurs, producers, and consumers who knew about commodities. They also knew about money-how to get it, how to use it, how to spend it. I know of no other book that covers these themes in such a succinct and interesting way."-Susan Branson, Syracuse University
""This fascinating and well-researched book challenges our assumptions at every turn. Because Hartigan-O'Connor shifts our focus from the countryside to the city, she forces historians to rethink their fundamental precepts concerning the 'capitalist transformation.' . . . This is a book that all scholars of the early Republic--whether or not they focus on issues of gender--will ignore at their own peril."-- Eighteenth-Century Studies
""This fascinating and well-researched book challenges our assumptions at every turn. Because Hartigan-O'Connor shifts our focus from the countryside to the city, she forces historians to rethink their fundamental precepts concerning the 'capitalist transformation.' . . . This is a book that all scholars of the early Republic-whether or not they focus on issues of gender-will ignore at their own peril."- Eighteenth-Century Studies
"Through an examination of residence, work, credit, circulation of money, and shopping patterns, Hartigan-O'Connor has created a detailed account of the colonial women who helped shape the vocabulary of commerce with their economic networks. This book provides insight into the everyday practices of women and a meticulous look at the economic implications of everyday life in the era explored."- Women's Studies
"Through an examination of residence, work, credit, circulation of money, and shopping patterns, Hartigan-O'Connor has created a detailed account of the colonial women who helped shape the vocabulary of commerce with their economic networks. This book provides insight into the everyday practices of women and a meticulous look at the economic implications of everyday life in the era explored."-- Women's Studies
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In 1770, tavernkeeper Abigail Stoneman called in her debts by flourishing a handful of playing cards before the Rhode Island Court of Common Pleas. Scrawled on the cards were the IOUs of drinkers whose links to Stoneman testified to women's paradoxical place in the urban economy of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Stoneman did traditional women's work--boarding, feeding, cleaning, and selling alcohol--but her customers, like her creditors, underscore her connections to an expansive commercial society. These connections are central toThe Ties That Buy. Historian Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor traces the lives of urban women in early America to reveal how they used the ties of residence, work, credit, and money to shape consumer culture at a time when the politics of the marketplace was gaining national significance. Covering the period 1750-1820, the book analyzes how women such as Stoneman used and were used by shifting forms of credit and cash in an economy transitioning between neighborly exchanges and investment-oriented transactions. In this world, commerce reached into every part of life. At the hearths of multifamily homes, renters, lodgers, and recent acquaintances lived together and struck financial deals for survival. Landladies, enslaved washerwomen, shopkeepers, and hucksters sustained themselves by serving the mobile population. A new economic practice in America--shopping--mobilized hierarchical and friendly relationships into wide-ranging consumer networks that depended on these same market connections. Rhetoric emerging after the Revolution downplayed the significance of expanding female economic life in the interest of stabilizing the political order. But women were quintessential market participants, with fluid occupational identities, cross-class social and economic connections, and a firm investment in cash and commercial goods for power and meaning.
Main Description
In 1770, tavernkeeper Abigail Stoneman called in her debts by flourishing a handful of playing cards before the Rhode Island Court of Common Pleas. Scrawled on the cards were the IOUs of drinkers whose links to Stoneman testified to women's paradoxical place in the urban economy of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Stoneman did traditional women's work--boarding, feeding, cleaning, and selling alcohol--but her customers, like her creditors, underscore her connections to an expansive commercial society. These connections are central to The Ties That Buy . Historian Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor traces the lives of urban women in early America to reveal how they used the ties of residence, work, credit, and money to shape consumer culture at a time when the politics of the marketplace was gaining national significance. Covering the period 1750-1820, the book analyzes how women such as Stoneman used and were used by shifting forms of credit and cash in an economy transitioning between neighborly exchanges and investment-oriented transactions. In this world, commerce reached into every part of life. At the hearths of multifamily homes, renters, lodgers, and recent acquaintances lived together and struck financial deals for survival. Landladies, enslaved washerwomen, shopkeepers, and hucksters sustained themselves by serving the mobile population. A new economic practice in America--shopping--mobilized hierarchical and friendly relationships into wide-ranging consumer networks that depended on these same market connections. Rhetoric emerging after the Revolution downplayed the significance of expanding female economic life in the interest of stabilizing the political order. But women were quintessential market participants, with fluid occupational identities, cross-class social and economic connections, and a firm investment in cash and commercial goods for power and meaning.
Main Description
In 1770, tavernkeeper Abigail Stoneman called in her debts by flourishing a handful of playing cards before the Rhode Island Court of Common Pleas. Scrawled on the cards were the IOUs of drinkers whose links to Stoneman testified to women's paradoxical place in the urban economy of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Stoneman did traditional women's work-boarding, feeding, cleaning, and selling alcohol-but her customers, like her creditors, underscore her connections to an expansive commercial society. These connections are central to The Ties That Buy . Historian Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor traces the lives of urban women in early America to reveal how they used the ties of residence, work, credit, and money to shape consumer culture at a time when the politics of the marketplace was gaining national significance. Covering the period 1750-1820, the book analyzes how women such as Stoneman used and were used by shifting forms of credit and cash in an economy transitioning between neighborly exchanges and investment-oriented transactions. In this world, commerce reached into every part of life. At the hearths of multifamily homes, renters, lodgers, and recent acquaintances lived together and struck financial deals for survival. Landladies, enslaved washerwomen, shopkeepers, and hucksters sustained themselves by serving the mobile population. A new economic practice in America-shopping-mobilized hierarchical and friendly relationships into wide-ranging consumer networks that depended on these same market connections. Rhetoric emerging after the Revolution downplayed the significance of expanding female economic life in the interest of stabilizing the political order. But women were quintessential market participants, with fluid occupational identities, cross-class social and economic connections, and a firm investment in cash and commercial goods for power and meaning.
Main Description
The Ties That Buy Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America Ellen Hartigan-OConnor "In this nuanced and innovative book, Ellen Hartigan-OConnor moves female economic life from the margins of society to the center--where it belongs. Instead of focusing on the great merchants, she explains how and why women of all ranks were central to economic development. And by taking a new and intriguing approach to consumerism, she shows how the production and importation of goods transformed womens lives. This is a creative and important work."--Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University ""The Ties That Buy" challenges our assumptions about the eighteenth-century American marketplace and the world of commerce. In the authors eyes, this world was not a male-defined or even male-dominated space. Poor, middling, and elite women as well as free and enslaved African American women were a significant presence as savvy entrepreneurs, producers, and consumers who knew about commodities. They also knew about money--how to get it, how to use it, how to spend it. I know of no other book that covers these themes in such a succinct and interesting way."--Susan Branson, Syracuse University "Through an examination of residence, work, credit, circulation of money, and shopping patterns, Hartigan-OConnor has created a detailed account of the colonial women who helped shape the vocabulary of commerce with their economic networks. This book provides insight into the everyday practices of women and a meticulous look at the economic implications of everyday life in the era explored."--"Womens Studies" In 1770, tavernkeeper Abigail Stoneman called in her debts by flourishing a handful of playing cards before the Rhode Island Court of Common Pleas. Scrawled on the cards were the IOUs of drinkers whose links to Stoneman testified to womens paradoxical place in the urban economy of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Stoneman did traditional womens work--boarding, feeding, cleaning, and selling alcohol--but her customers, like her creditors, underscore her connections to an expansive commercial society. These connections are central to "The Ties That Buy." Historian Ellen Hartigan-OConnor traces the lives of urban women in early America to reveal how they used the ties of residence, work, credit, and money to shape consumer culture at a time when the politics of the marketplace was gaining national significance. Covering the period 1750-1820, the book analyzes how women such as Stoneman used and were used by shifting forms of credit and cash in an economy transitioning between neighborly exchanges and investment-oriented transactions. In this world, commerce reached into every part of life. At the hearths of multifamily homes, renters, lodgers, and recent acquaintances lived together and struck financial deals for survival. Landladies, enslaved washerwomen, shopkeepers, and hucksters sustained themselves by serving the mobile population. A new economic practice in America--shopping--mobilized hierarchical and friendly relationships into wide-ranging consumer networks that depended on these same market connections. Ellen Hartigan-OConnor teaches history at the University of California, Davis. Early American Studies 2009 264 pages 6 x 9 18 illus. ISBN 978-0-8122-4144-0 Cloth $39.95s 26.00 World Rights American History, Womens/Gender Studies, Business Short copy: "The Ties That Buy" traces the lives of black and white women in early America to reveal how they used residence, work, credit, and money to shape consumer culture precisely at a time when the politics of the marketplace gained national significance.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Urban Housefulsp. 13
Work in the Atlantic Service Economyp. 39
Family Credit and Shared Debtsp. 69
Translating Moneyp. 101
Shopping Networks and Consumption as Collaborationp. 129
The Republic of Goodsp. 161
Conclusionp. 190
Notesp. 197
Indexp. 243
Acknowledgmentsp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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