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"A thought-provoking gem of a book... All historians and literary critics with an interest in eighteenth-century economic culture will want to read it."

"Baker's argument is instructive and well founded."

"Baker has written an incisive, provocative, sparkling book."

"Baker brings a fresh and critical eye to works already well-known to specialists but probably unfamiliar to historians in general."

"Astute and surprisingly lively volume... Highly recommended."

"A historically astute study of the complex relations between economic culture and literary history in early America."

"This is a work that attempts to break new ground. The topic is important but difficult and should be of great interest to historians, economists, and literary critics."

"An incisive new study... Baker conceptualizes her readings in pathbreaking ways."

"Both a primer educating one into the financial thinking of early Anglo-America and a testament to the energy and creativity with which successive generations of provincials imagined commerce as a process of mediation."

"Securing the Commonwealth, with its insightful account... offers a cogent and eye-opening narrative of a long-overlooked dimension."

"This book's virtue lies in its willingness not to belabor a point, as well as its extremely graceful way of offering correctives to existing readings... To finish an academic monograph wanting to read more is surely a good—and rare—thing."

"In her elegant analysis of writings by Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, Royall Tyler, Charles Brockden Brown and Judith Sargent Murray, Jennifer Baker homes in on a mode of thinking in eighteenth-century America about debt, credit, speculation and paper money that is quite surprising."

"Baker makes a consistently intriguing case for the centrality of financial themes to the varied literary landscape of eighteenth-century America—drawing poems, autobiography, essays, drama, and prose fiction into a broad, cultural conversation that focuses on the risks and the necessity for 'credit' in both the economic and the imaginative construction of the United States. No other book that I can think of presents eighteenth-century American writing in this stimulating and promising context."

"The first work to trace the literary and, more broadly, cultural consequences of debt, speculation, and paper money in early America. The debates and metaphorics surrounding these issues made it the center for discussions of value, social contract, moral character, and textual representation. Baker takes this rich node of issues and powerfully demonstrates its centrality to an array of texts. An important book."

Securing the Commonwealth
Debt, Speculation, and Writing in the Making of Early America
Publication Date: 1 Feb 2008
Status: Available
Usually ships 3-5 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 232 pages
Illustrations: 12 halftones
ISBN: 9780801889691