The Moral Project of Childhood: Motherhood, Material Life, and Early Children’s Consumer Culture
New York University Press
"Perhaps Cook’s most important accomplishment in this book is discarding the perception of a “pre-capitalist” childhood overtaken by rampant commercialism during the nineteenth century. As he notes, the idea of commerce and consumerism acting as a toxic force in childhood is far more common in the literature of the 1980s than it ever was in writings of the 1800s. Such a dichotomy made little sense to nineteenth-century White and prosperous mothers who were focused on teaching their offspring how to engage with goods and money in a manner that would reflect a genteel level of “taste.” Thus, he argues that instead of thinking of children as “born into a consumer culture,” we should think of modern childhood as continuing to be “born of it” (9)."
Ringel, Paul B.
"The Moral Project of Childhood: Motherhood, Material Life, and Early Children’s Consumer Culture,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 23
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol23/iss4/4