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When Washington D.C. Became a Tourist Destination
When the U.S. federal government first moved to D.C. in 1800, the city was still largely swamp. Tourists didn't start to visit until many decades later.
Can America Get Behind Full Employment?
Full employment was a prominent goal in U.S. politics after World War II, but has faded from policy debates in recent decades.
The French Perfume Boom
The marketing of scents through clever branding, rather than real differences in what’s being sold, originated in nineteenth-century France.
Can Consumer Groups Be Radical?
Historian Lawrence Glickman looked at the consumer movements of the 1930s to find out.
Atlantic City’s Grand Casino Bust
Nearly every American is now within a few hours’ drive of a casino. But critics note that casino gambling has not delivered on its economic promises.
What Good Moms Buy
The way advertisers target mothers has changed along with the social understanding of American motherhood, one sociologist found.
What Is a Bubble?
Tulip bulbs. Housing. Bitcoin? In every bubble, the value of something is based more on peoples' esteem of it, rather than intrinsic worth.
When the Elderly Poor Are Left Behind
In Japan, elderly people are committing crimes just so they can go to jail and feel cared for. A similar situation has played out in India, where the elderly have been left out of traditional social support networks.
Why Americans Used to Hate Hotel Workers
In 1874, popular writer Henry Hooper called the hotel clerk “the supercilious embodiment of Philistinism.” What accounts for the nineteenth century hate?
The Roots of Privatization
The great turn towards privatization is usually thought to have begun in the 1970s, with Chile's dictatorial regime, but its roots go back further than this.