Manifest and Other Destinies: Territorial Fictions of the Nineteenth-Century United States

Overview

Manifest and Other Destinies critiques Manifest Destiny's exclusive claim as an explanatory national story in order to rethink the meaning and boundaries of the West and of the United States' national identity. Stephanie LeMenager considers the American West before it became a trusted symbol of U.S. national character or a distinct literary region in the later nineteenth century, back when the West was undeniably many wests, defined by international economic networks linking diverse territories and peoples from ...
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Overview

Manifest and Other Destinies critiques Manifest Destiny's exclusive claim as an explanatory national story in order to rethink the meaning and boundaries of the West and of the United States' national identity. Stephanie LeMenager considers the American West before it became a trusted symbol of U.S. national character or a distinct literary region in the later nineteenth century, back when the West was undeniably many wests, defined by international economic networks linking diverse territories and peoples from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast.
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Editorial Reviews

Mark Twain Forum

“LeManager’s innovative approach to geographic spaces as social and political constructs will likely provide fuel for though for anyone studying Twain’s regional writings.”—Jim Zwick, Mark Twain Forum

— Jim Zwick

American Literature

"Manifest and Other Destinies provides an exciting model for denationalizing American studies. . . . LeMenager's strategy of identifying environments that as commercial contact zones once resisted national narratives of settlement brings together in a striking way materialist aspects of New Western history, ecocriticism, and efforts to globalize American literature."—Gretchen Murphy, American Literature

— Gretchen Murphy

Western Historical Quarterly

“In LeMenager’s Manifest and Other Destinies scholars of the American culture can trace contemporary controversy over multi-formity to the very formation of the nation.”—Western Historical Quarterly
Western American Literature

“LeMenager reveals a new significance to the unfamiliar while revivifying and reconfiguring our understandings of the pillars of canonical American literary study.”—Western American Literature
19th Century Studies

“Stephanie LeMenager’s Manifest and Other Destinies presents a richly detailed account of the points of intersection between the regional and the transitional scales.”—Hsuan L. Hsu, 19th Century Studies

Jos� Aranda

"This project is stunningly ambitious, meticulously researched, imaginatively interdisciplinary, and fundamentally radical in its re-reading of the nineteenth century."—José Aranda, author of When We Arrive: A New Literary history of Mexican America
Mark Twain Forum - Jim Zwick

“LeManager’s innovative approach to geographic spaces as social and political constructs will likely provide fuel for though for anyone studying Twain’s regional writings.”—Jim Zwick, Mark Twain Forum
Lawrence Buell

“With subtlety, incisiveness, and erudition, Stephanie LeMenager takes the subject of Manifest Destiny to a sophistication never seen before. . . . This book should be required reading for all serious students of nineteenth-century U. S. literature.”—Lawrence Buell, author Writing for an Endangered World
American Literature - Gretchen Murphy

"Manifest and Other Destinies provides an exciting model for denationalizing American studies. . . . LeMenager's strategy of identifying environments that as commercial contact zones once resisted national narratives of settlement brings together in a striking way materialist aspects of New Western history, ecocriticism, and efforts to globalize American literature."—Gretchen Murphy, American Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803229495
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Postwestern Horizons Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Stephanie LeMenager is an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : manifest and other destinies 1
Inventing the American desert 23
1 The American desert, empire anxiety, and historical romance 31
2 Desert and world 71
3 The postwestern space of the sea 109
The culture of water 139
4 The nation's mouth 145
5 Mark Twain's manifest and other destinies 189
6 Epilogue 221
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