American Literature and Culture 1900-1960 / Edition 1

American Literature and Culture 1900-1960 / Edition 1

by Gail McDonald
     
 

Say “America” and certain adjectives come readily to mind. Because of the nation’s wealth, energy, and global presence during the twentieth century, almost everyone has a view of America. This introduction to American literature and culture addresses four common conceptions of the United States: that it is “big,” “rich,”

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Overview

Say “America” and certain adjectives come readily to mind. Because of the nation’s wealth, energy, and global presence during the twentieth century, almost everyone has a view of America. This introduction to American literature and culture addresses four common conceptions of the United States: that it is “big,” “rich,” “new,” and “free.” Designed to illustrate the artistic and social climate in the USA from 1900 to 1960, the book discusses a range of artistic and cultural productions from the period that reinforce, revise, dispute, or deny these commonly held views of the country.

Each of the book’s four sections begins with a series of quotations from literary and other sources of the period, selected to emphasize a range of ideas about America. Within each section, history, popular culture, literature, and other art forms are then juxtaposed in a way that fosters discussion, questioning, and continued study. An appendix to the volume includes a list of primary works for further reading and a selective bibliography of secondary works on American literature and culture, including relevant websites. The book also features a timeline of the chief events — political, social, and artistic.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405101264
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
11/20/2006
Series:
Wiley Blackwell Introductions to Literature Series
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.35(h) x 0.85(d)

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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