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American Literature and Culture 1900-1960

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0126-4
276 pages
November 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
American Literature and Culture 1900-1960 (1405101261) cover image

Description

This introduction to American literature and culture from 1900 to 1960 is organized around four major ideas about America: that is it “big”, “new”, “rich”, and “free”.

  • Illustrates the artistic and social climate in the USA during this period.

  • Juxtaposes discussion of history, popular culture, literature and other art forms in ways that foster discussion, questioning, and continued study.

  • An appendix lists relevant primary and secondary works, including websites.

  • An ideal supplement to primary texts taught in American literature courses.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Timeline viii

Acknowledgments xxii

Introduction 1

1 Big 6

Expansion and its Discontents 12

The City 19

Representing Nature 36

Apocalypse 43

The Sense of Place 48

2 Rich 60

Weber and Veblen: Reasons to Work and Reasons to Spend 66

USA 71

Work and Identity 79

Labor Reform 91

Consumption and Identity 99

3 New 110

Beginning Anew: Crevecoeur and Hawthorne 115

Young America 119

Making It New I: Literary Modernism 128

Making It New II: The Other Arts 149

4 Free 165

The Multiple Meanings of Freedom 170

War and the Affirmation of American Values 173

Writing War 180

Upstream Against the Mainstream 187

“An Inescapable Network of Mutuality” 203

Notes 211

Websites for Further Study of American Literature and Culture 215

Bibliography 217

Index 231

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Author Information

Gail McDonald is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Southampton. She is the author of Learning to Be Modern: Pound, Eliot, and the American University (1993). She is also a Founder and Past President of the Modernist Studies Association.
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The Wiley Advantage


  • A novel introduction to American literature and culture from 1900-1960.

  • Illustrates the artistic and social climate in the USA during this period.

  • Organized by four ideas about America: that it is “big”, “new”, “rich” and “free”.

  • Juxtaposes discussion of history, popular culture, literature and other art forms in ways that foster discussion, questioning, and continued study.

  • An appendix lists relevant primary and secondary works, including websites.

  • An ideal supplement to primary texts taught in American literature courses.
See More

Reviews

"To call this an 'introduction' or 'guide' to its topic is accurate but modest...McDonald does not attempt to redefine texts so much as portray their coincidental nature...Highly Recommended." Choice
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