And when his investments rose, he’d sell, bank his original capital, use the profits to play on other stocks. All these years he’d been so dumb he hadn’t thought of making money this way. Other guys had cleaned up doing it, and he had been just too dumb to know it.
James T. Farrell, Judgement Day
The commercial ballyhoo of the 1920s was the stage in American development when consumerism finally triumphed over almost everything that had gone before. And, as William Leach observes, Charles Cooley, pioneer founder of modern sociology, ‘worried about this trend’.
‘Pecuniary values,’ he wrote in 1912, were not ‘natural’ or ‘normal’; they were the historical outgrowth of a new economy and culture and ‘by no means the work ...