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Something for Nothing

Luck in America

Jackson Lears - Author

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ISBN 9781101200377 | 408 pages | 27 Jul 2004 | Penguin
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Jackson Lears has won accolades for his skill in identifying the rich and unexpected layers of meaning beneath the familiar and mundane in our lives. Now, he challenges the conventional wisdom that the Protestant ethic of perseverance, industry, and disciplined achievement is what made America great. Turning to the deep, seldom acknowledged reverence for luck that runs through our entire history from colonial times to the early twenty-first century, Lears traces how luck, chance, and gambling have shaped and, at times, defined our national character.

Somethign For Nothing Introduction: Gambling for Grace

Chapter One: The Dance of Divination

Chapter Two: The Amusements of the Alehouse

Chapter Three: Confidence Games

Chapter Four: The Waning of Providence

Chapter Five: The Incomplete Taming of the Chance

Chapter Six: The Uncertain Triumph of Management

Chapter Seven: The Persistent Allure of Accident

Epilogue
Notes
Credits
Index
Lears is one of cultural history’s masters of linking popular moods and ideas with arts, philosophies, industries, and commodities. (The New York Review of Books)

Explains better than most why we spend millions on lotteries, gambling and questionable entrepreneurs. A book as dark as it is brilliant. (Dallas Morning News)


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