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West of Emerson roughs up genteel literary history: Fresonke argues for a fresh mix of American literature, one based on the far reaches of American territory and American literary endeavor. Reading into the record the unexplored writings of Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, Stephen Long, and William Emory, Fresonke forges surprising connections between the American West and the American visions emanating from the neighborhood of Walden Pond. These connections open a new view of the politics—and, by way of the notion of "design," the theological lineage-of manifest destiny. Finally, Fresonke's book shows how the cast of the American canon, no less than the direction of American politics, came to depend on what design one placed on the continent.
Author Biography: Kris Fresonke is Assistant Professor of English at Adelphi University.
1. Natural Causes: The Journals of Lewis and Clark
2. Zebulon Pike, Federalist Gloom, and Western Lands
3. The Land without Qualities: Stephen Long and William Emory
4. Emerson’s 1830s
5. Emerson’s Nature: West of Ecstasy
6. Thoreau and the Design of Dissent
Epilogue: The Case against the Hamptons