Beauty and Business
Commerce, Gender, and Culture in Modern America
Edited by Philip Scranton
Routledge – 2001 – 288 pages
Leading historians explore how our ideas of what is attractive are influenced by a broad range of social and economic factors. They force us to reckon with the ways that beauty has been made, bought and sold in modern America.
"Recommended for business historians and upper-division academic libraries with women's studies programs." -- Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
"Recommended for business historians and upper-division academic libraries with women's studies programs." -- Library Journal
"This pioneering collection weaves beauty into a capacious commercial net that stretches from the late 19th to the mid 20th century. Expansive in scope but sharply focused to capture the interplay between beauty and business, the volume casts an illuminating light on the individuals, groups and businesses involved in the transformation of modern cultures of consumption. With this volume, a new business history has arrived." -- Mary A. Yeager, UCLA
"Eschewing simplistic narratives of corporate victimization in favor of subtlety and complexity, these essays emphasize the role of consumers and small-scale entrepreneurs -- many of them women -- in shaping America's beauty industry…required reading for anyone interested in the histories of gender, culture, and business." -- Wendy Gambler, author of The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades
"These essays from a conference a the Hagley Museum and Library…attest to the growth of women in business and the welcome incursion of social and gender history into traditional business history…The mix is both interesting and potentially widely useful, not only for the study of business or women in business, but for a variety of other academic pursuits. It is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature." -- Choice
Philip Scranton is the Governor's Board Professor at Rutgers, editor of the journal Enterprise and Society, and director of research at the Hagley Center. He is author of several books, including Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization (1997).