Born Losers

Born Losers

A History of Failure in America

Book - 2005
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What makes somebody a Loser, a person doomed to unfulfilled dreams and humiliation? Nobody is born to lose, and yet failure embodies our worst fears. The Loser's history over the past two hundred years reveals the dark side of success, how economic striving reshaped the self and soul of America. From colonial days to the Columbine tragedy, cultural historian Sandage explores how failure evolved from a business loss into a personality deficit, from a career setback to a gauge of our self-worth. From private diaries, family letters, business records, and even early credit reports, Sandage reconstructs the dramas of real-life Willy Lomans. He unearths their confessions and denials, foolish hopes and lost faith, sticking places and changing times. Dreamers, suckers, and nobodies come to life, showing how the national quest for success remade the individual ordeal of failure.--From publisher description.
Publisher: Cambridge, Ma : Harvard University Press, ©2005
ISBN: 9780674015104
Branch Call Number: 303.372 S213b 2005
Characteristics: x, 362 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: History of failure in America


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Mar 19, 2012

My expectations for this book were high and the results were underwhelming. I looked forward to revisting American history through the eyes of pioneering merchants trying to carve out a living in the ruthless boom and bust world of frontier business. The idea that America was built from sweat, mistakes and failed attempts appealed to me.

The author attempts to weave this narrative but the book gets bogged down by dense language, disjointed citations and historical examples that are, frankly, not that interesting.


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