Literature Incorporated: The Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation, 1650-1850

University of Chicago Press
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Long before Citizens United and modern debates over corporations as people, such organizations already stood between the public and private as both vehicles for commerce and imaginative constructs based on groups of individuals. In this book, John O’Brien explores how this relationship played out in economics and literature, two fields that gained prominence in the same era.

Examining British and American essays, poems, novels, and stories from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, O’Brien pursues the idea of incorporation as a trope discernible in a wide range of texts. Key authors include John Locke, Eliza Haywood, Harriet Martineau, and Edgar Allan Poe, and each chapter is oriented around a type of corporation reflected in their works, such as insurance companies or banks. In exploring issues such as whether sentimental interest is the same as economic interest, these works bear witness to capitalism’s effect on history and human labor, desire, and memory. This period’s imaginative writing, O’Brien argues, is where the unconscious of that process left its mark. By revealing the intricate ties between literary models and economic concepts, Literature Incorporated shows us how the business corporation has shaped our understanding of our social world and ourselves.
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About the author

John O’Brien is associate professor and the NEH Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Harlequin Britain and the editor of Susanna Centlivre’s The Wonder.
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Additional Information

University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 29, 2015
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Business & Economics / Economic History
History / General
Literary Criticism / American / General
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / General
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Eligible for Family Library

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Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.

The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?

- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?

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Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world. 
A compelling portrait of a group of boys as they navigate the complexities of being both American teenagers and good Muslims

This book provides a uniquely personal look at the social worlds of a group of young male friends as they navigate the complexities of growing up Muslim in America. Drawing on three and a half years of intensive fieldwork in and around a large urban mosque, John O’Brien offers a compelling portrait of typical Muslim American teenage boys concerned with typical teenage issues—girlfriends, school, parents, being cool—yet who are also expected to be good, practicing Muslims who don’t date before marriage, who avoid vulgar popular culture, and who never miss their prayers.

Many Americans unfamiliar with Islam or Muslims see young men like these as potential ISIS recruits. But neither militant Islamism nor Islamophobia is the main concern of these boys, who are focused instead on juggling the competing cultural demands that frame their everyday lives. O’Brien illuminates how they work together to manage their “culturally contested lives” through subtle and innovative strategies—such as listening to profane hip-hop music in acceptably “Islamic” ways, professing individualism to cast their participation in communal religious obligations as more acceptably American, dating young Muslim women in ambiguous ways that intentionally complicate adjudications of Islamic permissibility, and presenting a “low-key Islam” in public in order to project a Muslim identity without drawing unwanted attention.

Closely following these boys as they move through their teen years together, Keeping It Halal sheds light on their strategic efforts to manage their day-to-day cultural dilemmas as they devise novel and dynamic modes of Muslim American identity in a new and changing America.

An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944—when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program—The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader’s Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than twenty languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.

With this new edition, The Road to Serfdom takes its place in the series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The volume includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom will be the definitive version of Hayek's enduring masterwork.
Dementia is increasingly and widely recognised as a serious health and social challenge, in the developed world as well as in the developing world. The need therefore to design and implement dementia care services of high quality is becoming more and more vital, particularly given the likelihood of ever increasing demand in a world, which likely sees resources at best remaining at current levels.

Designing and Delivering Dementia Services describes current developments in the design and configuration of dementia services. It offers an informative and detailed overview of what constitutes high quality care, considering the circumstances patients and carers may find themselves in.

For dementia to get the priority it deserves, a number of factors are important and the book charts the invaluable contributions of various Alzheimer's Associations and Societies: this provides a focus on dementia strategies and plans at national levels: the book reports on the state of affairs regarding such strategies and provides a unique insight into the process of how one of these was developed and implemented.

Recognising the need to prove that service developments lead to a higher quality of care, increased productivity and increased efficiency, the book links the resulting picture to service-based research methodologies, with an emphasis on the strengths and limitations of that research.

Contributions from 17 countries on 4 continents give an overview of the state of affairs across the world, paying attention to successful - and less successful - initiatives to improve dementia care. The book furthermore provides pragmatic approaches to ensure planning becomes reality, highlights the need for structured workforce development, education and training and describes the opportunities afforded by assistive technology.

This book is of prime informative and practical value given that pressures on dementia services are projected to mount across the world against a backdrop of limited resources and expertise.

Designing and Delivering Dementia Services

Defines the problems involved in meeting an increasing demand for dementia care services in a poorer world Maps initiatives and developments in the design and configuration of these services in a variety of international settings Analyses these developments against the background of political and health economic circumstances Provides a road map of where health services should go in response to this growing challenge.

The first book to define, analyse and map initiatives for dementia care services in a time of increasing demand and decreasing resources, this book is essential reading for commissioners, senior clinicians and service planners in health and social care. It will also be of interest to academic researchers involved in qualitative services research as well as quantitative health economic research, health and social care managers and those involved in workforce planning and development.

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