The Greenback

Paper Money and American Culture


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About the Book

What can we learn about America by examining its paper bills? This illuminating text answers that question by exploring the social, cultural and historical contexts of paper money. Predicated on the assumption that paper bills speak to us through the deliberate use of symbols—letters, verbal and visual elements, as well as symbols of civic values—this book examines what has been conveyed to Americans via their currency from colonial times through the present day. Topics covered include origin, design, creative and subversive usages, and counterfeiting.

About the Author(s)

Heinz Tschachler is a former professor of English and American studies at Alpen-Adria-University in Klagenfurt, Austria. He is the author of numerous books.

Bibliographic Details

Heinz Tschachler
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 80 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4973-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      7

1. Making Sense of the Buck: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices      15

2. The Production of the Paper Dollar      31

3. Designing the Paper Dollar: Articulating Production and Consumption      62

4. The Paper Dollar and the National Symbolic      94

5. The Cultural Consumption of the Paper Dollar      127

6. Cultural Regulation: Paper Dollars and the Conduct of Life      157

Conclusion      196

Chapter Notes      203

Bibliography of Works Cited      223

Index      243

Book Reviews & Awards

Finalist, Literary Award of Merit—Society of Paper Money Collectors
“shows what can be learned by examining the social, cultural and historical contexts of paper money. The author examines how these notes speak to the public through deliberate use of symbols and examines how such representations have been conveyed to Americans from colonial times”—The Numismatist.