Exposes and Excess

Exposes and Excess

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From robber barons to titanic CEOs, from the labor unrest of the 1880s to the mass layoffs of the 1990s, two American Gilded Agesa€”one in the early 1900s, another in the final years of the twentieth centurya€”mirror each other in their laissez-faire excess and rampant social crises. Both eras have ignited the civic passions of investigative writers who have drafted diagnostic blueprints for urgently needed change. The compelling narratives of the muckrakersa€”Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Ray Stannard Baker among thema€”became bestsellers and prizewinners a hundred years ago; today, Cecelia Tichi notes, they have found their worthy successors in writers such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Eric Schlosser, and Naomi Klein. In ExposAcs and Excess Tichi explores the two Gilded Ages through the lens of their muckrakers. Drawing from her considerable and wide-ranging work in American studies, Tichi details how the writers of the first muckraking generation used fact-based narratives in magazines such as McClure's to rouse the U.S. public to civic action in an era of unbridled industrial capitalism and fear of the immigrant qdangerous classes.q Offering a damning cultural analysis of the new Gilded Age, Tichi depicts a booming, insecure, fortress America of bulked-up baby strollers, McMansion housing, and an obsession with money-as-lifeline in an era of deregulation, yawning income gaps, and idolatry of the market and its rock-star CEOs. No one has captured this period of corrosive boom more acutely than the group of nonfiction writers who burst on the scene in the late 1990s with their exposAcs of the fast-food industry, the world of low-wage work, inadequate health care, corporate branding, and the multibillion-dollar prison industry. And nowhere have these authorsa€”Ehrenreich, Schlosser, Klein, Laurie Garrett, and Joseph Hallinana€”revealed more about their emergence as writers and the connections between journalism and literary narrative than in the rich and insightful interviews that round out the book. With passion and wit, ExposAcs and Excess brings a literary genre up to date at a moment when America has gone back to the future.Christian groups in 2002-2003 protested that Jesus would not drive an SUV, and TV ads in early 2003 linked gas-guzzling SUVs to ... Hummer (H2), by General Motors, 2002. said the New ... administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, warned about the SUV rollover problem in a speech in Dearborn, anbsp;...

Title:Exposes and Excess
Author:Cecelia Tichi
Publisher:University of Pennsylvania Press - 2013-03-01


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