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Provincial Lives, first published in 1999, tells the story of the development of a regional middle class in the antebellum Middle West. It traces the efforts of waves of Americans to transmit their social structures, behavior, and values to the West and construct a distinctive regional middle-class culture on the urban frontier. Intertwining local, regional, and national history, as well as social, immigration, gender and urban history, the author examines how a succession of settlers from 'good' society - farmers and entrepreneurs, followed by capitalists, professionals, and 'genteel' men and women from the urban East - interacted with, accommodated, and compromised with those already there to construct a middle-class society and culture. Provincial Lives explores social change through the lived experience of the actors themselves as they employed their understandings of self, gender, class, and culture to construct social order and contribute to the development of a western urban middle class while still remaining members of a national society and playing a role in shaping the emergence of middle-class culture across the United States.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521640923
ISBN-10: 052164092X
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 348
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 28-Jan-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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