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Defending a Way of Life: An American Community in the Nineteenth Century
Defending a Way of Life: An American Community in the Nineteenth Century. By Michael Cassity * Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989. xv + 259 pp. Notes, bibliography, and index. Cloth, $44.50; paper, $14.95.
Defending a Way of Life is an account of the struggle between an emerging capitalist market system and the values of a non-capitalist society, rooted in the past but defended in the nineteenth century by workers and farmers. The setting is Sedalia, in Pettis County, Missouri, from roughly the 1820s to 1890. In Michael Cassity's tendentious version it is a struggle of good against evil, right versus wrong, production for profit against production for use. The …