The Saloon and the Mission
Addiction, Conversion, and the Politics of Redemption in American Culture
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
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Table of Contents
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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This project had two origins, one professional and one personal. In the first, I was on the lookout for popular or vernacular counterparts to what Michael Szalay has termed New Deal Modernism in literature. I was interested in narrative, imagery, and social practices in the 1930s and 1940s that expressed neither radicalism nor reaction but that spoke, in one way ...
Introduction: Addiction Recovery and the World as it should be
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...âIâm quitting drinking,â I told her. . . . Actually, the seeds of my deci-sion had been planted the year before, by the Reverend Billy Graham.Junkie. Pothead. Thatâs where Iâd been headed: the final, fatal role of Neither George Bush nor Barack Obama claims to be an alco-holic or a drug addict. Nevertheless, in these turning points in their autobiographies, the forty-third and forty-fourth presidents invoke conven-...
Part I: Redemption and Ideology
1. The Drunkard’s Conversion and the Salvation of the Social Order
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...âYou are damned,â said the preacher. And the reader of sounds I wonder, is it better to go to church to seek social connections, or business relationships, or to exhibit a new bonnet, than it is to go to Jeremiah McAuley, by every nineteenth-century indicator, was doomed to a wicked life and an early death. Heredity, upbringing, envi-ronment, religion, habitsâeach was as bad as could be, and the sum pre-...
2. “What a Radical Found in Water Street”
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The saloon furnishes material to be saved faster than the settlement âCharles Sheldon, In His Steps: âWhat Would Jesus Do?â (1897)The individualistic gospel has . . . not given us an adequate under-standing of the sinfulness of the social order and its share in the âWalter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907)...
3. The Varieties of Conversion Polemic
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If the State, burdened and shackled by its horde of outcasts and sin-ners, would march freely and efficiently to its goal, it must be at the James teaches to cease reasoning and to have faith that all is well and will be well . . . in order to escape the pessimism consequent upon the grim and honest exercise of reason. . . . Come. Your glass ...
4. New Deal Individualism and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
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These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue The birth of Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s was a turning point in the cultural history of alcoholism and addiction. A.A. grew rapidly, and by midcentury it had taken hold not only as a means of recov-...
Part II: Literature and Recovery
5. Literary Realism and the Secularization of the Drunkard’s Conversion
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The fact is that the mystical feeling of enlargement, union, and eman-cipation has no specific intellectual content whatever of its own. It is capable of forming matrimonial alliances with material furnished by the most diverse philosophies and theologies, provided only they can find a place in their framework for its peculiar emotional mood. ...
6. The Drinker’s Epiphany in Modernist Literature
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T. S. Eliot, in his 1937 introduction to Djuna Barnesâs novel Night-wood, urged its readers not to repeat the mistake of an unnamed reviewer, who recoiled from Barnesâs âhorrid sideshow of freaks.â Instead, Eliot insisted, one must understand her queer, dissolute expatriates as exem-plars of the human condition. To read them as mere deviants, the poet wrote, would be ânot only to miss the point, but to confirm our wills and harden ...
7. The Iceman Cometh and the Drama of Disillusion
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Saloon, while liquor-selling goes on with great earnestness, the âGeneral, on behalf of the former sinners of the future I would like Eugene OâNeillâs life and work seem to fit the pattern of the alco-holic modern writers. Born in 1888, he was a ferocious binge drinker in his early adulthood, accruing the kinds of legends that make a hard-drinking writerâs reputation. From 1907 to 1915, between trips at sea, he spent lengthy ...
8. Recovery Memoir and the Crack-Up of Liberalism
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It was two days before she died without regaining consciousness, In his 1956 memoir The Cup of Fury, Upton Sinclair traces the theme of alcoholism through his life and times, focusing on the dozens of writ-ers, artists, politicians, and workers he knew who were its victims. Begin-ning with the dizzying instability of his childhood due to his own fatherâs periodical binges, he documents his booze-saturated early environs in both ...
Conclusion: Addiction in a New Era of Recovery
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Perhaps no mental illness is more a product of its social setting than addiction to narcotics. . . . Thus, in part the natural history of drug addiction is like that of a society; it must be rewritten every few years.Progressive liberals seem incapable of stating the obvious truth: that we who are well off should be willing to share more of what ...
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About the Author, Back Cover
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 8 illus.
Publication Year: 2013