Overview

Following World War II, Americans entertained a far more international political, cultural, and intellectual awareness as well as a greater fascination with development, progress, and modernity than ever before. In a revisionist account that takes "development" as its main theme, Guy Reynolds charts the responses of novelists, travel writers, and literary intellectuals to the nation’s deepening engagement in world affairs. Reynolds remaps recent literary history featuring authors as diverse as James Baldwin, Saul...
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Apostles of Modernity

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Overview

Following World War II, Americans entertained a far more international political, cultural, and intellectual awareness as well as a greater fascination with development, progress, and modernity than ever before. In a revisionist account that takes "development" as its main theme, Guy Reynolds charts the responses of novelists, travel writers, and literary intellectuals to the nation’s deepening engagement in world affairs. Reynolds remaps recent literary history featuring authors as diverse as James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Paul Bowles, Pearl Buck, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ernest Hemingway, Peter Matthiessen, Richard Powers, Susan Sontag, and Richard Wright. Apostles of Modernity offers an original, in-depth study of the literary manifestations of this period of globalism in novels, memoirs, essays, reportage, and political commentary. Through close readings of texts Reynolds revisits and reassesses U.S. internationalism, showing how writers and intellectuals engaged with a cluster of topics: decolonization, the rise of the Third World, Islamic difference, the end of European empires, China’s enduring significance, and transatlantic and cosmopolitan identities. Throughout, the ideals of the United States as "apostle of modernity" and sponsor of "development" feature as central to American letters in the decades after World War II. A major contribution to the study of literary internationalism, Apostles of Modernity establishes new paradigms for understanding America’s place in the world and the world’s place in America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803216464
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 392 KB

Meet the Author

Guy Reynolds is a professor of English and the director of the Cather Project at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is the author of Willa Cather in Context: Progress, Race, Empire and Twentieth-Century American Women’s Fiction: A Critical Introduction.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
The American Writer and Development: Contexts of Cultural Internationalism     1
The "Skin Game": Du Bois, Wright, Malcolm X, Baldwin     27
"You were in on the last days of Morocco": Paul Bowles and the End of Empire     55
Sinophilia: China and the Writers     81
Nonalignment and Writing: Rich Lands and Poor     103
Stone Ages: Peter Matthiessen and Susan Sontag in Latin America and Asia     127
African American Representations of the Hispanic: Remaking Europe     153
Ugly Americans and Vanishing Europeans: American Presence, European Decolonization     175
"These great new times": Cosmopolitanism and Contemporary Writing     199
Notes     223
Index     257
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