Faculty Book: Timothy L. Alborn
Regulated Lives: Life Insurance and British Society, 1800–1914
(University of Toronto Press, 2009)
Regulated Lives explores the British life insurance industry’s changing assessments of the values and risks of human life between 1800 and 1914. By examining how salesmen, actuaries, and doctors utilized their differing conceptions of what the various aspects of people’s lives meant, Regulated Lives suggests that the very complexity of modern commercial and social institutions produces spaces where individuality can flourish. Alborn’s unique study uses insurance practices to demonstrate how Victorian ideas about the lived experience accommodated and resisted elements of modernity such as statistical thinking, medicalization, and capitalist bureaucracy. Timothy Alborn (Lehman College) is associate professor of history at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: AUG 18, 2009