Otter -- Crockett -- cook
Is William Otter's a History of My Own Time a rags-to-riches success story? To what extent does it conform to the themes associated with the Cult of the Self-Made Man and to what extent does it deviate?
William Otter's autobiographical work A History of My Own Time (1835) is truly what one would call a "rags-to-riches" tale, yet it can also be viewed as being quite the opposite. Otter started out in several professions -- a shoemaker with John Paxton in New York City, the venetian blind-making business with William Howard, a carpenter with Gausman, and finally, the bricklaying and plastering business with Kenweth King. Following these flings as an apprentice, Otter then decided to attend school with a "liberal attention to classic lore," but Otter's involvement with heavy drinking at the taverns and his association with many of New York's toughest street gangs severely...
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