Marking Modern Times

Marking Modern Times

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The public spaces and buildings of the United States are home to many thousands of timepiecesa€”bells, time balls, and clock facesa€”that tower over urban streets, peek out from lobbies, and gleam in store windows. And in the streets and squares beneath them, men, women, and children wear wristwatches of all kinds. Americans have decorated their homes with clocks and included them in their poetry, sermons, stories, and songs. And as political instruments, social tools, and cultural symbols, these personal and public timekeepers have enjoyed a broad currency in art, life, and culture. In Marking Modern Times, Alexis McCrossen relates how the American preoccupation with time led people from across social classes to acquire watches and clocks. While noting the difficulties in regulating and synchronizing so many timepieces, McCrossen expands our understanding of the development of modern time discipline, delving into the ways we have standardized time and describing how timekeepers have served as political, social, and cultural tools in a society that doesna€™t merely value time, but regards access to time as a natural-born right, a privilege of being an American.Almost as soon as the Civil War ended, publishers brought out a variety of watch repair manuals, some for uninitiated but ... The narrator opens with a description of his a€œinfalliblea€ watch, which he a€œset by guessa€ after it ran down one night.

Title:Marking Modern Times
Author:Alexis McCrossen
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2013-05-01


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