American Protest Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

“I like a little rebellion now and then”—so wrote Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, enlisting in a tradition that throughout American history has led writers to rage and reason, prophesy and provoke. This is the first anthology to collect and examine an American literature that holds the nation to its highest ideals, castigating it when it falls short and pointing the way to a better collective future.
American Protest Literature presents sources from eleven protest movements—political, social, and cultural—from the Revolution to abolition to gay rights to antiwar protest. Each section reprints documents from the original phase of the movement as well as evidence of its legacy in later times. Informative headnotes place the selections in historical context and draw connections with other writings within the anthology and beyond. Sources include a wide variety of genres—pamphlets, letters, speeches, sermons, legal documents, poems, short stories, photographs, posters—and a range of voices from prophetic to outraged to sorrowful, from U.S. Presidents to the disenfranchised. Together they provide an enlightening and inspiring survey of this most American form of literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Trodd organizes this excellent anthology around 11 reform movements, most based on race, class, or gender (e.g., the American Revolution, abolition, women's suffrage, gay rights). Collecting the work of both established writers and new voices, the book comprises some hundred pieces (1–3 pages each): prose excerpts, political documents, poems, photographs, film briefs, essays, fiction, narratives, and orations… This excellent book can serve as a textbook as well as a resource on social change and the literature thereof. Indeed, the persuasiveness of the collection raises the question not only of whether protest literature is a genre of its own, but also of whether it is the most American literary form.
— L. L. Johnson

Syracuse New Times

The recently published treasure American Protest Literature, edited by Zoe Trodd…belongs on our bookshelves for two types of enjoyment. For starters, it is an invaluable reference, the first anthology to collect and examine American literature 'that holds the nation to its highest ideals, castigating it when it falls short and pointing the way to a better collective future.' It is also a great pleasure to read the 500-plus pages… May the daily newspaper and the nightly news glow with new perspective. Read this book.
— Karen DeCrow

Choice - L. L. Johnson
Trodd organizes this excellent anthology around 11 reform movements, most based on race, class, or gender (e.g., the American Revolution, abolition, women's suffrage, gay rights). Collecting the work of both established writers and new voices, the book comprises some hundred pieces (1–3 pages each): prose excerpts, political documents, poems, photographs, film briefs, essays, fiction, narratives, and orations… This excellent book can serve as a textbook as well as a resource on social change and the literature thereof. Indeed, the persuasiveness of the collection raises the question not only of whether protest literature is a genre of its own, but also of whether it is the most American literary form.
Syracuse New Times - Karen Decrow
The recently published treasure American Protest Literature, edited by Zoe Trodd…belongs on our bookshelves for two types of enjoyment. For starters, it is an invaluable reference, the first anthology to collect and examine American literature 'that holds the nation to its highest ideals, castigating it when it falls short and pointing the way to a better collective future.' It is also a great pleasure to read the 500-plus pages… May the daily newspaper and the nightly news glow with new perspective. Read this book.
Library Journal
In this time of warrantless wiretaps and imprisonment without trial, these two anthologies remind us how hard previous generations of Americans fought to preserve and broaden our civil and human rights. Dissent is the larger and broader of the two. Young (history, Temple Univ.) organizes his book chronologically, with introductions to each of nine broad periods from pre-Revolutionary War to contemporary times (Cindy Sheehan against the war in Iraq in 2005) and briefer introductions for each author. Early protests of religious persecution by Puritans in the 17th century mix with Native American speeches and an anonymous slave's letter, and the collection continues with a wide social, economic, political, and racial span, ultimately embracing a panoply of issues including black liberation, the environment, gay rights, workers' rights, and peace movements. While Young defines dissent as coming from both the Left and the Right in his introduction, left of center predominates. American Protest Literature is organized by Trodd around 11 subjects, which are collected more or less as they have arisen chronologically in our history, from "Declaring Independence" and "Unvanishing the Indian" to "The Word Is Out: Gay Liberation" and "From Saigon to Baghdad." Within each area, Trodd presents writings from both the originating movement and the later protest writings on similar themes, e.g., Daniel De Leon's 1895 Declaration of Interdependence by the Socialist Labor Party is with Thomas Paine in the first section. There is less introductory material here than in Young's book, but by linking original works to later pieces Trodd underlines the historical roots of American dissent and the ongoing relevance of these writings. Trodd does not attempt to include right-of-center dissent, nor does her work contain literature on environmentalism or the long history of anti-imperialism, as does Young. Taken together, these books offer an exciting and inclusive vision of Americans fighting for their rights since the 17th century. Both are highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674027633
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Series: John Harvard Library Series , #99
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 643,756
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Zoe Trodd is Professor of American Literature at the University of Nottingham.

John Stauffer is Chair of History of American Civilization and Professor of English and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and the author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword [John Stauffer]
  • Introduction
  • 1. Declaring Independence: The American Revolution
    • The Literature
      • “A Political Litany” (1775) [Philip Freneau]
      • From Common Sense (1776) [Tom Paine]
      • From “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men” (1776) [John Witherspoon]
      • The Declaration of Independence (1776)
      • From Letters from an American Farmer (1782) [J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur]


    • The Legacy
      • “The Working Men’s Party Declaration of Independence” (1829) [George Evans]
      • “Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments” (1848)
      • From “Resistance to Civil Government” (1849) [Henry David Thoreau]
      • From “Provisional Constitution” (1858) [John Brown]
      • “Declaration of Interdependence by the Socialist Labor Party” (1895) [Daniel De Leon]




  • 2. Unvanishing the Indian: Native American Rights
    • The Literature
      • Speech to Governor William Harrison at Vincennes (1810) [Tecumseh]
      • “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man” (1833) [William Apess]
      • “Indian Names” (1834) [Lydia Sigourney]
      • From From the Deep Woods to Civilization (1916) [Charles Eastman]
      • From Black Elk Speaks (1932) [Black Elk and John G. Neihardt]


    • The Legacy
      • From Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970) [Dee Brown]
      • “What Is the American Indian Movement?” (1973) [Birgil Kills Straight and Richard LaCourse]
      • “American Indians and Vietnamese” (1973) [Roland Winkler]
      • From Lakota Woman (1990) [Mary Crow Dog]
      • “The Exaggeration of Despair” (1996) [Sherman Alexie]




  • 3. Little Books That Started a Big War: Abolition and Antislavery
    • The Literature
      • From Appeal to the Coloured Citizens (1829) [David Walker]
      • From Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) [Harriet Beecher Stowe]
      • From “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” (1852) [Frederick Douglass]
      • Prison Letters (1859) [John Brown]
      • From Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) [Harriet Jacobs]


    • The Legacy
      • The Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution (1863, 1865–70)
      • “Solidarity Forever” (1915) [Ralph Chaplin]
      • From “Everybody’s Protest Novel” (1949) [James Baldwin]
      • From The Defiant Ones (1958) [Stanley Kramer]
      • From Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (1999) [Kevin Bales]




  • 4. This Land Is Herland: Women’s Rights and Suffragism
    • The Literature
      • From “Shall Women Have the Right to Vote?” (1851) [Wendell Phillips]
      • From “Women and Suffrage” (1867) [Lydia Maria Child]
      • From “Declaration and Protest of the Women of the United States” (1876) [National Woman Suffrage Association]
      • “Solitude of Self” (1892) [Elizabeth Cady Stanton]
      • “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) [Charlotte Perkins Gilman]


    • The Legacy
      • “Frederick Douglass” (1908) [Mary Church Terrell]
      • From “Why Women Should Vote” (1910) [Jane Addams]
      • From Herland (1915) [Charlotte Perkins Gilman]
      • Nineteenth Amendment and Equal Rights Amendments (1920, 1923, 1943)
      • “Now We Can Begin” (1920) [Crystal Eastman]




  • 5. Capitalism’s Discontents: Socialism and Industry
    • The Literature
      • From Life in the Iron Mills (1861) [Rebecca Harding Davis]
      • From Looking Backward, 2000–1887 (1888) [Edward Bellamy]
      • From How the Other Half Lives (1890) [Jacob Riis]
      • From The Jungle (1906) [Upton Sinclair]
      • “Sadie Pfeifer” and “Making Human Junk” (1908, 1915) [Lewis Hine]


    • The Legacy
      • “The People’s Party Platform” (1892) [Ignatius Donnelly]
      • Food and Drugs Act and Meat Inspection Act (1906)
      • Statement to the Court (1918) [Eugene V. Debs]
      • “Farewell, Capitalist America!” (1929) [William (Big Bill) Haywood]
      • From Nickel and Dimed (2001) [Barbara Ehrenreich]




  • 6. Strange Fruit: Against Lynching
    • The Literature
      • From Southern Horrors (1892) [Ida B. Wells]
      • “Jesus Christ in Texas” (1920) [W.E.B. Du Bois]
      • “The Lynching” (1920) [Claude McKay]
      • “Strange Fruit” (1937, 1939) [Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiday]
      • From “Big Boy Leaves Home” (1936) [Richard Wright]


    • The Legacy
      • “Bill for Negro Rights and the Suppression of Lynching” (1934) [League of Struggle for Negro Rights]
      • “Federal Law Is Imperative” (1947) [Helen Gahagan Douglas]
      • “Take a Stand against the Klan” (1980) [The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee]
      • From “AmeriKKKa 1998: The Lynching of James Byrd” (1998) [Michael Slate]
      • “The Lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, 1930” (2000)




  • 7. Dust Tracks on the Road: The Great Depression
    • The Literature
      • “Migrant Mother” (1936) [Dorothea Lange]
      • “Farmer and Sons” (1936) [Arthur Rothstein]
      • From The Grapes of Wrath (1939) [John Steinbeck]
      • Hale County, Alabama (1936, 1941) [Walker Evans]
      • From Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941) [James Agee]


    • The Legacy
      • “Tom Joad” (1940) [Woody Guthrie]
      • From 12 Million Black Voices (1941) [Richard Wright and Edwin Rosskam]
      • From The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955) [Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes]
      • From The Other America (1962) [Michael Harrington]
      • “Poverty Is a Crime” (1972) [Malik]




  • 8. The Dungeon Shook: Civil Rights and Black Liberation
    • The Literature
      • “Montgomery: Reflections of a Loving Alien” (1956) [Robert Granat]
      • “My Dungeon Shook” (1962) [James Baldwin]
      • From “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963) [Martin Luther King, Jr.]
      • “Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.” (1963) [Marion Trikosko]
      • From “The Ballot or the Bullet” (1964) [Malcolm X]


    • The Legacy
      • “On Civil Rights” (1963) [John F. Kennedy]
      • “The American Promise” (1965) [Lyndon B. Johnson]
      • “Black Art” (1966) [Amiri Baraka]
      • “Panther Power” (1989) [Tupac Shakur]
      • “Ten Point Program” (2001) [New Black Panther Party]




  • 9. A Problem That Had No Name: Second-Wave Feminism
    • The Literature
      • “I Stand Here Ironing” (1956) [Tillie Olsen]
      • From The Feminine Mystique (1963) [Betty Friedan]
      • “Statement of Purpose” (1966) [National Organization for Women]
      • “Women’s Liberation Has a Different Meaning for Blacks” (1970) [Renee Ferguson]
      • “For the Equal Rights Amendment” (1972) [Shirley Chisholm]


    • The Legacy
      • Letter to Betty Friedan (1963) [Gerda Lerner]
      • “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” (1977) [Audre Lorde]
      • “The Female and the Silence of a Man” (1989) [June Jordan]
      • From The Morning After (1993) [Katie Roiphe]
      • “Women Don’t Riot” (1998) [Ana Castillo]




  • 10. The Word Is Out: Gay Liberation
    • The Literature
      • From “Howl” (1956) [Allen Ginsberg]
      • Stonewall Documents (1969–1970)
      • From “Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto” (1969) [Carl Wittman]
      • “The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements” (1970) [Huey P. Newton]
      • From Street Theater (1982) [Doric Wilson]


    • The Legacy
      • “Read My Lips” (1988) [ACT UP]
      • Still/Here (1994) [Bill T. Jones]
      • From Angels in America (1990, 1991) [Tony Kushner]
      • “Dyke Manifesto” (1993) [Lesbian Avengers]
      • From Stone Butch Blues (1993) [Leslie Feinberg]
      • Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003)




  • 11. From Saigon to Baghdad: The Vietnam War and Beyond
    • The Literature
      • “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die-Rag” (1965) [Country Joe and the Fish]
      • “Advent 1966” (1966) [Denise Levertov]
      • From Why Are We in Vietnam? (1967) [Norman Mailer]
      • “Saigon” (1968) [Eddie Adams]
      • “Napalm” (1972) [Nick (Huynh Cong) Ut]
      • From Dispatches (1967–1969, 1977) [Michael Herr]


    • The Legacy
      • “April 30, 1975” (1975) [John Balaban]
      • From “How to Tell a True War Story” (1987) [Tim O’Brien]
      • Poets against the War
        • “Speak Out” (2003) [Lawrence Ferlinghetti]
        • “Poem of War” (2003) [Jim Harrison]
        • “Poem of Disconnected Parts” (2005) [Robert Pinsky]


      • “Who Would Jesus Torture?“ (2004) [Clinton Fein]
      • From Born on the Fourth of July (1976, 2005) [Ron Kovic]




  • Afterword [Howard Zinn]
  • Sources
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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