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

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Overview

The creation of an American national culture in the nineteenth century coincided with a common belief that the emerging nation was diseased and in need of healing. Reading nineteenth-century narratives of health by a wide variety of authors, Burbick exposes the fears and conflicts underlying the creation of an American national culture. In studying these narratives of the body, this pioneering and comprehensive work concludes that a fundamental uneasiness about democracy may result in a collective, willful effort to control the body trope as a means of composing social order.

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Editorial Reviews

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"...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

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Textures of Authority: 1. The Common Senses of America; 2. Writing the Constitution of the Body; Part II. Fictions of the Body Politic: 3. Riddles of the Brain; 4. The Tell-tale Heart; 5. Nervous Reports; 6. The Recording Eye; Conclusions: Somatic Politics; Notes; Index.

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