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- DescriptionFrom the patricians of the early republic to post-Reconstruction racial scientists, from fin de siecle progressivist social reformers to post-war sociologists, character, that curiously formable yet equally formidable stuff, has had a long and checkered history giving shape to the American national identity. Bodies of Reform reconceives this pivotal category of nineteenth-century literature and culture by charting the development of the concept of character in the fictional genres, social reform movements, and political cultures of the United States from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century. By reading velists such as Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman alongside a diverse collection of texts concerned with the mission of building character, including child-rearing guides, muscle-building magazines, libel and naturalization law, Scout handbooks, and success manuals, James B. Salazar uncovers how the cultural practices of representing character operated in tandem with the character-building strategies of social reformers. His invative reading of this archive offers a radical revision of this defining category in U.S. literature and culture, arguing that character was the keystone of a cultural politics of embodiment, a politics that played a critical role in determining-and contesting-the social mobility, political authority, and cultural meaning of the raced and gendered body.
- Author BiographyJames B. Salazar is Assistant Professor of English at Temple University.
- Author(s)James B. Salazar
- PublisherNew York University Press
- Date of Publication15/09/2010
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Series TitleAmerica and the Long 19th Century
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintNew York University Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations, figures
- Weight431 g
- Width3895 mm
- Height5830 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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