The American Idea of Success

Richard Huber, Author Pushcart Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-916366-43-8
From Ben Franklin's pragmatic materialism to Dale Carnegie's advice on how to manipulate people, American pundits and hucksters have promoted the idea of success and the money and status it brings. Huber's iconoclastic history of this country's literature of success, first published in 1971, traces the shift from a ""character ethic'' of ambition and self-reliance to a ``personality ethic'' of self-packaging and personal leverage. In separate chapters covering the McGuffey Reader, Horatio Alger's novels, the autosuggestion of Emile Coue, keeping up with the Joneses and Norman Vincent Peale, Huber documents the tension between our worship of the bitch-goddess success and our feeling that success ought to mean more than the mere possession of objects. In a foreword, Huber notes that women, like men, increasingly tend to measure self-worth by occupational achievement. (September)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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