Abstract

This article examines Robert Herrick's business novel, The Memoirs of an American Citizen (1905), and its engagement with competing views regarding the application of Darwinism in business practices and economic theory through the rise of its protagonist Edward Van Harrington and his corporation. The Memoirs of an American Citizen illustrates the influence of Darwinian individualism in fictional representations of business competition; however, Herrick's novel also contains a different interpretation of Darwin's ideas applied to the economic growth of Harrington's corporation that is presented as a result of economic evolution. Herrick's novel struggles to reconcile an evolutionary interpretation of social and business practices with individuals' capacity to exercise moral choices.

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