Summary: A Calculating People is an entertaining and informative history of the birth of the American passion for numbers, tracing the history of "numeracy" from its origins in the Enlightenment to its flowering in mid-19th century America. Patricia Cline Cohen focuses on episodes that illustrate the growing skill and enthusiasm for numbers in the colonies and early republic, from the controversial inauguration of the census in Jamestown and the West Indies to the r
ole played by "statisticks" in politics and social reform. By examining the rising prestige of quantification, Cohen sheds light on the changing ways that Americans thought about their social, political and economic relations. Now back in print, A Calculating People reveals how numeracy profoundly shaped the character of society in the early republic and provides a wholly original perspective on the development of modern America.
Summary: A Calculating People is an entertaining and informative history of the birth of the American passion for numbers, tracing the history of "numeracy" from its origins in the Enlightenment to its flowering in mid-19th century America. Patricia Cline Cohen focuses on episodes that illustrate the growing skill and enthusiasm for numbers in the colonies and early republic, from the controversial inauguration of the census in Jamestown and the West Indies to the role played by "statisticks" in politics and social reform. By examining the rising prestige of quantification, Cohen sheds light on the changing ways that Americans thought about their social, political and economic relations. Now back in print, A Calculating People reveals how numeracy profoundly shaped the character of society in the early republic and provides a wholly original perspective on the development of modern America. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:99 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Routledge N. Y. Published: 11/25/1999 International: No
[An] exceptionally well-crafted book...Illuminating and richly detailed.
--Paul Starr, The New Republic
An important volume...This thoughtful, original, and felicitous book deserves a broad audience.
--Michael Kammen, Journal of American History
A classic study...This elegant cultural history of how numbers became America's most powerful signs, both for reasoning and persuasion, is crucial for understanding the transformation of 19th-century America.
--Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut
Routledge Web Site, September, 2002
View Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Numeracy in Seventeenth-Century England 2. Colonial Counting 3. Patterns and Providence 4. Republican Arithmetic 5. Statistics and the State 6. The Census of 1840 Conclusion Notes Index
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