Trading Horses…and Lies

Thu, September 21, 2017, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Horse trading has a long and unsavory history in America. Buying and selling the basic means of transportation was not a straight-forward economic transaction. It was, rather, a testosterone-fueled contest to see which participant would emerge from the deal a victor who could brag about his bargaining prowess. The horse was important, but the process of obtaining the horse was an integral part of ownership.

This talk will explore the ways in which American men (and they were always men) conducted themselves in the marketplace of horses. Because each horse had its own particular combination of strengths and weaknesses, a tradition of obfuscation, misdirection, obscuration, and just plain lying flourished. Horse trading was a sport, a game, a contest that pitted men against each other, often in the public arena, and it was a part of the pre-industrial world that continued well into the twentieth century.

Steven Gelber received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He taught American history at Santa Clara University for forty years and was twice chair of the department. He has written four books and about a dozen articles for scholarly journals. Most of his published work focuses on what he calls “the culture of capitalism.” He has investigated the iconography of New Deal art in California, the origins of baseball as an adult game, the relationship between work and hobbies, and the history of how automobiles were bought and sold.

Steven has lived in Santa Rosa since 2010 with his wife Angela, and is on the MSC board of directors.

Tickets $10-15.

Lecture Sponsor receives 2 tickets and recognition in the Museum’s marketing materials. Lecture sponsorships are fully tax-deductible.

Purchase your tickets here online or call us at (707) 579-1500 during regular business hours or between 11:00am-5:00pm on weekends.

Doors open at 6:30pm, the TALK begins at 7:00pm.

History Museum of Sonoma County

425 7th Street

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