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Reading America: On the Art of Reading Politically and Reading Political Art

Overview

American literature is profoundly, almost inescapably political. America's most thoughtful authors long ago realized that it was through the novel, the novella, and the story that philosophic education of America's citizens would best be undertaken. In this fascinating new anthology of original essays, ten leading scholars explore the ways in which American civic education has been informally advanced through literature. Delving into the works of authors ranging from Mark Twain to William Faulkner to Octavia ...

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Democracy's Literature: Politics and Fiction in America

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Overview

American literature is profoundly, almost inescapably political. America's most thoughtful authors long ago realized that it was through the novel, the novella, and the story that philosophic education of America's citizens would best be undertaken. In this fascinating new anthology of original essays, ten leading scholars explore the ways in which American civic education has been informally advanced through literature. Delving into the works of authors ranging from Mark Twain to William Faulkner to Octavia Butler, these essays reflect on the close relationship between democracy and literature. They convey an understanding that the greatest American literary works are also works of profound philosophical insight. Through careful analysis, Democracy's Literature illustrates that democracy and literature are natural partners, forging a relationship that America's greatest authors have long realized in their subtle efforts to craft a democratic public philosophy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742532588
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Deneen is the Markos and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. Joseph Romance is professor of political science at Drew University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Art of Democratic Literature Chapter 2 Billy Budd and the Politics of Prudence Chapter 3 Yankee Go Home: Mark Twain's Postcolonial Romance Chapter 4 Tom Sawyer: Potential President Chapter 5 Patriots and Philosophers: The Idea of Obligation and Race in William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust Chapter 6 A Story About Nothing: Two Kinds of Nihilists and One Kind of Christian in Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" Chapter 7 Ralph Ellison's Invisible Men Chapter 8 Go Tell It on the Mountain: James Baldwin and the Politics of Faith Chapter 9 Vexed Genealogy: Octavia Butler and Political Memories of Slavery Chapter 10 "Hello Babies": Eliot Rosewater and the Art of Citizenship in the Graduation Speeches of Kurt Vonnegut Chapter 11 The American Mystery Deepens: Hearing Tocqueville in Don DeLillo's White Noise

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