The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890

The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890

by Richard Slotkin
     
 

In The Fatal Environment, Richard Slotkin demonstrates how the myth of frontier expansion and subjugation of the Indians helped to justify the course of America’s rise to wealth and power. Using Custer’s Last Stand as a metaphor for what Americans feared might happen if the frontier should be closed and the "savage" element be permitted to

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Overview

In The Fatal Environment, Richard Slotkin demonstrates how the myth of frontier expansion and subjugation of the Indians helped to justify the course of America’s rise to wealth and power. Using Custer’s Last Stand as a metaphor for what Americans feared might happen if the frontier should be closed and the "savage" element be permitted to dominate the "civilized," Slotkin shows the emergence by 1890 of a myth redefined to help Americans respond to the confusion and strife of industrialization and imperial expansion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806130309
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
962,616
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.29(d)

Meet the Author


Richard Slotkin is Olin Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Wesleyan University. He is the author of Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 and Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of Frontier in Twentieth-Century America, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperhack Edition
Pt. IMyth Is the Language of Historical Memory1
Ch. 1Exposition: The Frontier as Myth and Ideology3
Ch. 2Myth and Historical Memory13
Ch. 3The Frontier Myth as a Theory of Development33
Pt. IIThe Language of the Frontier Myth49
Ch. 4Regeneration Through Violence: History as an Indian War, 1675-182051
Ch. 5Ideology and Fiction: The Role of Cooper81
Pt. IIIMetropolis vs. Frontier107
Ch. 6The Backwash of a Closing Frontier: Industrialization and the Hiatus of Expansion, 1820-1845109
Ch. 7Utopia/Dystopia: Plantation, Factory, and City, 1820-1845138
Pt. IVMyth of a New Frontier: Renewal and Breakdown, 1845-1850159
Ch. 8A Choice of Frontiers: Texas, Mexico, and the Far West, 1835-1850161
Ch. 9The Myth That Wasn't: Literary Responses to the Mexican War, 1847-1850191
Pt. VThe Railroad Frontier, 1850-1860209
Ch. 10Prophecy of the Iron Horse211
Ch. 11The Ideology of Race Conflict, 1848-1858227
Ch. 12The Inversion of the Frontier Hero: William Walker and John Brown, 1855-1860242
Pt. VIToward the Last Frontier, 1860-1876279
Ch. 13Regimentation and Reconstruction: The Emergence of a Managerial Ideology, 1860-1873281
Ch. 14The Reconstruction of Class and Racial Symbolism, 1865-1876301
Ch. 15The New El Dorado, 1874325
Pt. VIIThe Boy General, 1839-1876371
Ch. 16West Point, Wall Street, and the Wild West, 1839-1868373
Ch. 17The Boy General Returns; or, Custer's Revenge, 1868-1876398
Pt. VIIIThe Last Stand as Ideological Object, 1876-1890433
Ch. 18To the Last Man: Assembling the Last Stand Myth, 1876435
Ch. 19The Indian War Comes Home: The Great Strike of 1877477
Ch. 20Morgan's Last Stand: Literary Mythology and the Specter of Revolution, 1876-1890499
Notes533
Bibliography597
Index619

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