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Marilyn C. Wesley
The Life and Undeath of Autonomy in American Literature skillfully relates concepts from Greek sources to writings from the inaugural phase of American democracy through the present day. The book provides new and valuable information about the extensive history of selfhood as it relates to power in American thinking. The most important contribution is the implication that autonomy is a modifiable construct rather than a human endowment. By tracing its construction from the classical Greek writings so fundamental to American education and carefully demonstrating its permutations in influential American texts, Geoff Hamilton introduces a radical concept that has real-world consequences.