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No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 Paperback – June 15, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0226469706 ISBN-10: 0226469700 Edition: First Edition (US) First Printing

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (June 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226469700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226469706
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By JMaynard on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
"No Place of Grace" is a revealing book that gives insight into a philosophy that has shaped American history in an extraordinary way. T.J. Jackson Lears is an excellent author and shows his thorough knowledge of the philosophy and the culture that gave birth to it. Every sentence in the book is carefully crafted with well-chosen words, as Lears does not waste the reader's time with incomprehensible terminology. He employs rhetorical devices with an ease that gives his writing a fluid rhythm, as his analogies couple words in a way that makes his meaning seem more poignant. By interspersing quotes, the author gives variety and realism to the text. He describes a philosophy, and then brings it to life with the words uttered from philosophers and the common man. Confusing trends are explained and analyzed, helping the reader understand concepts that create the foundations of his own thought.
Lears introduces the reader to the post-civil war era which is easily forgotten, sandwiched between two wars that shadow its very real importance. He describes the time as ripe for progress, and hungry for change, which was considered the foremost indicator of the former. Europe watched as industrialism took hold of the American continent, and transformed American life and thought. The world began to be run by numbers on clocks and inventories, and the average businessman and even worker learned to measure value by quantity rather than quality. In this new world, family became tidily separated from the harsh realm of work and was created into some idealistic haven, to which it could hardly live up to.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kyle on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
No Place of Grace, by T. J. Jackson Lears, is an interesting commentary on the movements and schools of thought that rose up in the late nineteenth century. What makes it so interesting isn't the copious first hand accounts that Lears quotes which bring the text to life or the huge amounts of raw information that he serves packed into every sentence; the most interesting fact about this book is that much of the thought and practices that started in the late nineteenth century have affect how think today. Lears tells how urbanization, industrialization, and prosperity all helped change almost everything about the gilded age's culture and the reader can't help but notice how these resultant ideas paved their way into the twentieth century.
The work place was transformed to be a workplace to be modeled after an efficient working machine. It was during this period that time clock was invented and people started to use the phrase "on time." It was also during this time when the drug abuse originated. Much like the citizens of Brave New World, people took "holidays" to get away from their efficient working lives consuming narcotics such as opium, heroin, and morphine.
Urbanization transformed American from a country that thrived on farming to an urban and industrial country, and with that transformation there was consequently a shift from a producer society to a consumer society. There became a link between progress and material wealth. With all of their prosperity people generally thought society and all the world was constantly moving towards a better state, which made people totally ignore heaven and hell.
The movement was so widespread that it even affected the church. Sermons were shortened to be more efficient with time (which I wish is still in effect today).
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By swanson on January 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
No Place of Grace is a well crafted book which gives us a new prospective into the ever changing American way of thought which has lead America to be what it is today. Some of the main issues that T.J. Jackson Lears focuses on are the antimodernism in early industrial America, religion, politics, neurasthenia, and the psychological impacts that this had on the people after the civil war through the early twentieth century. Lears discusses the issues in such a way that it is quite easy to understand the complexity of the time. He has an amazing grasp on many of the areas of tension in the industrial age as well as a grasp on various social and political issues. His extensive knowledge of the English language makes his writing much more concise. T.J. Jackson Lears' use of interesting facts and quotes gives this book much more flavor and spice. One of the most interesting comparisons that Lears makes is he compares the way that the ideal human body back then was with a bit of a pouch to show leisure and wealth and compares how the idea of wealth and leisure have created a entirely new outlook for Americans. As Lears' fallows the American train of thought he shows how America was a place that was constantly struggling with its self in the realm of the mind with two groups at both extremes pushing their view. One very interesting example of this is the fight over whether certain looked down upon traits such as drinking or anti social behavior was hereditary or of specific to a certain individual. One battle over this was the court hearing of a man who clamed to be "healing" the republican party by fallowing orders from God and killing a man who was causing fractions. This hearing was also very important in the social crisis that the republicans believed was going on.Read more ›
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