At Emerson's Tomb : The Politics of Classic American Literature / Edition 1

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Representative works are interpreted in light of the two great political movements of the nineteenth century: the abolition of slavery and the women's rights movement. By reexamining Emerson, Poe, Melville, Douglass, Walt Whitman, Chopin, and Faulkner and others, Rowe assesses the degree to which major writers' attitudes toward race, class, and gender contribute to specific political reforms in nineteenth and twentieth-century American culture.

Columbia University Press

A Choice 1997 Oustanding Book of the Year

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Editorial Reviews


Rowe's is a... provocative... important contribution both to literary history's methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.


Rowe's is a... provocative... important contribution both to literary history's methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.

Rowe┬┤s is a . . . provocative . . . important contribution both to literary history┬┤s methodology and to understanding the individual writers and the works he examines and discusses in detail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231058957
  • Publisher: Perseus (for Columbia University Press)
  • Publication date: 12/29/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,027,866
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

John Carlos Rowe is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1 At Emerson's Tomb 1
2 "Hamlet's Task": Emerson's Political Writings 17
3 Antebellum Slavery and Modern Criticism: Edgar Allan Poe's Pym and "The Purloined Letter" 42
4 A Critique of Ideology: Herman Melville's Pierre 63
5 Between Politics and Poetics: Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by Himself 96
6 Reconstructing The Family: Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 124
7 The Body Poetic: Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps 145
8 Fatal Speculations - Murder, Money, and Manners: Mark Twain's The Gilded Age and Pudd'nhead Wilson 162
9 The Politics of Innocence: Henry James' The American 179
10 The Economics of The Body: Kate Chopin's The Awakening 200
11 The African-American Voice: William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses 222
12 Revivals 247
Notes 253
Index 293
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