Tipping: An American Social History of Gratuities

Paperback / softback
Though the history of tipping can be traced to the Middle Ages, the practice did not become widespread until the late 19th century. Initially, Americans reviled the custom, branding it un - American and undemocratic. The opposition gradually faded away and tipping became an American institution. The government was fairly quick to recognize tips as taxable income, but were far slower to use them in the calculation of unemployment insurance payments and social security benefits. Individuals came to grudgingly accept the practice, but many remain uncomfortable in tipping situations. From its beginnings in Europe to its development as a quintessentially American trait, this work provides a social history of tipping customs and how the United States became a nation of tippers.