The Consumer Revolution, 1650-1800

The Consumer Revolution, 1650-1800

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:262 pages
Size:228x152x15 mm
Weight:410 g
Short description:

A bold new interpretation of 'consumer revolution' in 18th-century Europe, examining globalization and the politics of consumption in the age of Revolution.

Long description:
The production, acquisition, and use of consumer goods defines our daily lives, and yet consumerism is seen as increasingly controversial. Movements for sustainable and ethical consumerism are gaining momentum alongside an awareness of how our choices in the marketplace can affect public issues. How did we get here? This volume advances a bold new interpretation of the 'consumer revolution' of the eighteenth century, when European elites, middling classes, and even certain labourers purchased unprecedented quantities of clothing, household goods, and colonial products. Michael Kwass adopts a global perspective that incorporates the expansion of European empires, the development of world trade, and the rise of plantation slavery in the Americas. Kwass analyses the emergence of Enlightenment material cultures, contentious philosophical debates on the morality of consumption, and new forms of consumer activism to offer a fresh interpretation of the politics of consumption in the age of abolitionism and the Atlantic Revolutions.

'The Consumer Revolution, 1650-1800 is a well-written and well-conceived book that presents an up-to-date account of scholarship on the Consumer Revolution alongside an expert's critical account of that scholarship and where it needs to go in the future. Students and scholars will surely appreciate the overview of the field provided and the suggestions for more specialized reading.' Clare Crowston, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Table of Contents:
Introduction; 1. Consumer revolution; 2. The globalization of European consumption; 3. Going shopping; 4. The cultural meanings of consumption; 5. Consuming enlightenment; 6. The luxury debate; 7. The politics of consumption in the age of revolution; Conclusion.