Social Criticism and Nineteenth-Century American Fictions
Robert Shulman
344 pages
6 x 9

Formats available:
Paperback   $35.00 SH
ISBN: 978-0-8262-0726-5

About the Book

The changing market society of the nineteenth century had a deep impact on American writers and their works. The writers responded with important insights into the alienation brought on by the country’s capitalist development.

Shulman uses theorists from Tocqueville to Gramsci and the New Left historians, as well as drawing on other recent historical and critical studies, to examine major nineteenth-century American works as they illuminate and are illuminated by their society. Using works by Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Chesnutt, Walt Witman, Edith Wharton, and Theodore Dreiser, he shows the urgency, energy, and variety of response that capitalism elicited from a range of writers.


Robert Shulman is Professor of English at the University of Washington.


"Shulman's book is a masterly effort. It is a substantial contribution to a growing body of literature that seeks to understand how classic works of American literature are motivated by and reflect their sociohistorical contexts. But his contribution bears the added distinction of being equally valuable to the theorist and the classroom teacher."--Studies in American Fiction


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