JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2012) England textile manufacture within just a few years of Revere's passing from the scene? Wa lter Lic ht is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is completing a global history of the American economy. Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America. By Sharon Ann Murphy. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. 416 pp. $67.00.) Reviewed by Michael Zakim Sharon Ann Murphy's Investing in Life is a meticulous history of a significant but understudied event in the making of liberalism, the invention of life insurance. This was a social technology born of statistics, population, and the mass market, and of modern notions of self-ownership. All were pillars of the new industrial system, which meant that all effectively undermined an older patriarchy resting on land and household by which family and property had traditionally been organized in America. Life insurance was accordingly designed for persons whose income depended upon their lives, as the North American Review explained in a survey of the industry's explosive growth in 1863. The reference was to those who owned no real property and so lived and worked exclusively within the money economy.
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: May 5, 2012