The American 1890s: A Cultural Reader

The American 1890s: A Cultural Reader

by Susan Harris Smith
     
 

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America at the last fin de siècle was in a period of profound societal transition. Industrialization was well under way and with it a burgeoning sense of professionalism and a growing middle class that was becoming increasingly anxious about issues of race, gender, and class. The American 1890s: A Cultural Reader is a wide-ranging anthology of essays,

Overview

America at the last fin de siècle was in a period of profound societal transition. Industrialization was well under way and with it a burgeoning sense of professionalism and a growing middle class that was becoming increasingly anxious about issues of race, gender, and class. The American 1890s: A Cultural Reader is a wide-ranging anthology of essays, criticism, and fiction first printed in periodicals during those last remarkable years of the nineteenth century, a decade commonly referred to as the “golden age” of periodical culture.
To depict the many changes taking place in the United States at this time, Susan Harris Smith and Melanie Dawson have drawn from an eclectic range of periodicals: elite monthlies such as Scribner’s, Harper’s, and the Atlantic Monthly; political magazines such as the North American Review and Forum; magazines for general readers such as Cosmopolitan and McClures; and specialized publications including the Chatauquan, Outing, and Colored American Magazine. Authors represented in the collection include Andrew Carnegie, Edith Wharton, Theodore Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Booker T. Washington, Stephen Crane,
W. E. B. DuBois, Jacob Riis, and Frederick Jackson Turner. A general introduction to the period, a brief contextualizing essay for each selection, and a comprehensive bibliography of secondary sources are provided as well. In examining and debating the decade’s momentous political and social developments, the essays, editorials, and stories in this anthology reflect a constantly shifting culture at a time of internal turmoil, unprecedented political expansion, and a renaissance of modern ideas and new technologies.
Bringing together a carefully chosen selection of primary sources, The American 1890s presents a remarkable variety of views—nostalgic, protective, imperialist, progressive, egalitarian, and democratic—held by American citizens a century ago.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A splendid collection! This combination of fiction, editorials, and essays offers multiple themes and insights into the concerns of 1890s America that still hold sway over the public imagination today.”— Emory Elliott, University of California, Riverside

“This excellent sourcebook covers a range of topics, from education to mental health, from labor and the city to reading and culture. A thorough and well-conceived collection.”—Priscilla Wald, author of Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822380856
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Publication date:
06/16/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Susan Harris Smith is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of American Drama: The Bastard Art and Masks in Modern Drama.

Melanie Dawson is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

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