Author Archive

Tim Lacy

From Proletarianization to Commodification: The New Plot of the History of Capitalism

Jeffrey Sklansky’s first book—The Soul’s Economy: Market Society and Selfhood in American Thought, 1820-1920 (2002)—occupies an equivocal place historiographically. On one hand, it stands at the tapering end of the “culture of the market” school that flourished mostly in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Soul’s Economy has a great deal in common with the scholarship of Christopher Lasch (especially The True and Only Heaven {1991}) and Wilfred McClay, whose The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America was published in 1994. This literature—as the subtitles of McClay’s and Sklansky’s books indicate—often focused on the ways that capitalism had over Read more