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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Acknowledgments Introduction PART I: Reconstructing Readers 1. The Hard-Boiled Writer and the Literary Marketplace 2. The Adman on the Shop Floor: Workers, Consumer Culture, and the Pulps PART II: Reading Hard-Boiled Fiction 3. Proletarian Plots 4. Dressed to Kill 5. Talking Tough 6. The Office Wife Afterword Notes Index

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An examination of the culture that produced and supported pulp-fiction

About the Author

Erin A. Smith is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Literature at the University of Texas at Dallas.


"Picking up a classic 'hard-boiled' detective novel by Dashiell Hammet or Raymond Chandler--or even modern-day Sara Paretsky--is an entirely different experience after reading Smith's fascinating book. Now the pages of these novels and their close cousins, the pulp magazines, have become rich canvases for working out struggles over readers' class and consumer identities." --Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University "Not until Erin Smith's innovative study have we had such a fully-grounded look at the imagined community of working-class fraternity, masculinity, and consumerism through which pulp audiences interpreted the 'fast-talking' heroes of hard-boiled detective fiction. A lively, engaging book that ranges from the linguistics to the sartorial dimensions of the genre, from labor to cultural capital, from advertising copy to literary theory." --Christopher P. Wilson, author of Cap Knowledge: Police Power and Cultural Narrative in Twentieth Century America "Hard-Boiled [is] a valuable contribution to the study of American literature between the wars." --Modern Fiction Studies

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