REVIEWS � 417 and will likely stand as the deﬁnitive biography of Chang and Eng Bunker for years to come. Matthew Wittmann is the curator of the Harvard Theatre Collec- tion. He is the author of Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010 (New Haven, CT, 2012), and presently is ﬁnishing a study of American entertainers who toured around the Paciﬁc in the nineteenth century. Capitalism by Gaslight: Illuminating the Economy of Nineteenth- Century America. Edited by Brian P. Luskey and Wendy A. Woloson. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. Pp. 316. Cloth, $49.95.) Reviewed by Gautham Rao This exemplary collection of essays ‘‘illuminates’’ the importance of mar- kets ‘‘often labeled ‘marginal’ by contemporaries and historians’’ (3). Each author brings subtlety and reﬁnement to topics that have eluded serious or sustained historical inquiry. They reveal how the legal, gen- dered, racial, and textual boundaries of nineteenth-century American capitalism were rife with liminality, conﬂict, and contortion. Indeed, beyond those boundaries, a bustling world of exchange would come to exist in the discourses, streets, ﬂophouses, waterfronts, and auction houses that come to life in this volume. ‘‘This,’’ contend editors Brian P. Luskey and Wendy A. Woloson, ‘‘was capitalism’’ too (9). Luskey
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jun 14, 2016
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