BN.com Gift Guide

Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$112.21
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $49.83
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $49.83   
  • New (3) from $49.83   

Overview

In this study Joan Burbick interprets nineteenth-century narratives of health written by physicians, social reformers, lay healers, and literary artists in order to expose the conflicts underlying the creation of a national culture in America. These "fictions" of health include annual reports of mental asylums, home physician manuals, social reform books, and novels consumed by the middle class that functioned as cautionary tales of well-being. Read together these writings engage in a counterpoint of voices at once constructing and debating the hegemonic values of the emerging American nation. That political values flow from the daily exigencies of survival and enjoyment is one of the claims advanced by theorists of cultural hegemony. Broadening this assumption, the narratives of health presented here address the demands and desires of everyday life and construct a national discourse with directives on control, authority, and subordination. They articulate the wish for a healthy citizenry, freed of pain and saturated with well-being, and they insist upon specific ideologies and knowledges of the body in order to achieve this radiance of health. Divided into two parts, the work first examines the structures of authority found in health narratives and then studies the topology of the body found in a cross section of writings. The first part examines how the authority of "common sense" is pitted against that of physiological law and its transcendent "constitution" for the body. The second analyzes how specific knowledges about the brain, heart, nerves, and eye provide individual "keys" to health, indices that reveal the conflicts inherent in American nationalism. In studying these narratives of health, Healing the Republic confronts what Burbick sees as a certain fundamental uneasiness about democracy in America. Fearing the political freedom they hoped to embrace. Americans designed ways to control the body in the effort to create, impose, or encompass social ord
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Burbick has taken on a huge project and has opened up the interrelated histories of medicine, politics, and literature in important new ways." Tom Lutz, American Literature

"...readings of an amazingly diverse array of nineteenth-century prose and poetry, ranging from the well known (Walden, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Moby-Dick) to the little known (Domestic Medicine, by the physician John C. Gunn). These readings are imaginative and frequently arresting." Cynthia Russett, Isis

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The Common Senses of America
1 Healing the "People" 15
2 Doubting the Senses 32
3 The Body Politics of Walden 57
Pt. 2 Writing the Constitution of the Body
4 Counterfeit Sensations 77
5 Enforcing the Laws of Physiology 96
6 Biodemocracy in Leaves of Grass 113
Pt. 1 Riddles of the Brain
7 Managing Mental Labor 137
8 The National Narrative of Monomania 156
Pt. 2 The Tell-Tale Heart
9 The Counter-Narrative of Domestic Sorrow 179
10 Complaints of the Heart 200
Pt. 3 Nervous Reports
11 Revenge of the Nerves 225
12 Allegories of Nervous Fever 241
Pt. 4 The Recording Eye
13 Sighting the Divine 265
14 Technologies of the Eye 281
Conclusion: Somatic Politics 301
Notes 307
Index 351
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)