Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Doing Your Part?

If it's the duty of every American to spend, then businesses must give something of value back.

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

We've heard so much about consumer spending lately, it seems like a recent phenomenon. But the emphasis on spending isn't new; in fact, Harvard University history professor Liz Cohen says it's been around since the 1930s. Cohen's compelling book, A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (Alfred A. Knopf), argues that shopping has long been a form of patriotism, and that Americans have a rich history of opening their wallets when it's time to come to the aid of the country.

What do you mean by the term, "a consumers' republic"?

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks