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Sex and Race in Peyton Place
In a surprise rereading of the classic Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, Sally Hirsh-Dickinson contends that it scandalized the nation precisely because of the way in which sexuality in the novel is conflated with America's problematic relationship to race. This charge is buttressed by the oft-forgotten detail that the fictional Peyton Place was founded by one Samuel Peyton, an escaped slave.
Hirsh-Dickinson argues that the town's inability to come to terms with its black history informs its dysfunctional relationship to sex, power, and justice, mirroring America on the eve of the civil rights movement. She writes of New England in the larger American consciousness, touching on discussions of white studies and the racialized lower classes in American fiction. Dirty Whites and Dark Secrets is a thought-provoking study of a genre classic that will speak to both scholars and students about the deeper truths hidden in popular fiction.
Revivalism and Social Reform in Boston, 1860-1910
Benjamin L. Hartley brings to light the little-known story of relative latecomers to Boston's religious scene: Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, and nondenominational Christians. Focusing on Congregationalists and Roman Catholics, Boston urban historians have largely overlooked these groups. Hartley, however, sheds light on the role of immigrant evangelical leaders from Italy, Sweden, and elsewhere in revivalism and social reform in postbellum Boston. Further, examining the contested nature of revivalism and social reform in a particular, local nineteenth-century context provides a basis for understanding the roots of current divisions in American Protestantism and the contentious role of evangelical religion in American politics. Hartley documents the importance of the American holiness movement as a precursor to the significant presence of Pentecostal groups in urban America, adding an important historical context for evangelical social action today.
Affect and Reading Badly in the Early American Public Sphere
Drawing on a rich archive of scandal chronicles, pornography, medical journals, religious novels, and popular newspapers, as well as more canonical sources, Michael Millner examines the panics and paranoia associated with "bad reading" in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War. Weaving into his analysis a model of emotion recently developed in cognitive psychology, he provides the back-history to our present-day debates about "bad" reading and shows how these debates--both in the past and in the present--are in part about the shape of the public sphere itself.
American Puritans and Puritanism in an Atlantic World
Francis J. Bremer has spent his entire career broadening our understanding of America's colonial founders. Now, in this eminently readable collection of biographies, Bremer brings us a surprisingly varied and dynamic group of characters who continue to guide and influence America today. With its cast of magistrates, women, clergy, merchants, and Native Americans, First Founders underscores the breadth of early American experience and the profound transatlantic roots of our country's forebears. Bremer succeeds in bringing little-known figures out of the shadows, while allowing us to appreciate better known figures in an entirely new light.
This is a truly fascinating look at the Puritans with keenly drawn portraits and the insight that only a lifetime of scholarship can achieve. It should become the standard introduction to the field. Written in the mold of Joseph Ellis's Founding Brothers and Gordon Wood's Revolutionary Characters, the book will appeal to general readers, students, and scholars alike.
Capitalism and Sacrifice in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction
Fascinating analysis of the significance of the gift, and its increasingly complicated role in an emerging capitalist order, in nineteenth-century American fiction In this rich interdisciplinary study, Hildegard Hoeller argues that nineteenth-century American culture was driven by and deeply occupied with the tension between gift and market exchange. Rooting her analysis in the period’s fiction, she shows how American novelists from Hannah Foster to Frank Norris grappled with the role of the gift based on trust, social bonds, and faith in an increasingly capitalist culture based on self-interest, market transactions, and economic reason. Placing the notion of sacrifice at the center of her discussion, Hoeller taps into the poignant discourse of modes of exchange, revealing central tensions of American fiction and culture.
The life of Doris Haddock, known to millions as “Granny D,” from her young adulthood in Boston during the Great Depression to her last decade as a galvanizing figure of populist politics With her walk across America at the age of 90, New Hampshire native Doris Haddock entered the national consciousness as “Granny D,” a candid and feisty champion of commonsense populist politics. Four years later she ran for the U.S. Senate against the usual entrenched big-party interests—and lost. In the meantime, she became a cause célèbre, and an example of the kind of politics that puts people first. Granny D’s American Century is the story of Doris Haddock both before and after these events: as a young woman whose bedrock New England values were tested during the Great Depression, and as a no-nonsense nonagenarian putting those values to work in the causes of voters’ rights, women’s rights, and campaign finance reform. Written in a clear, unsparing prose, Granny D’s American Century is a warm reflection on a life well lived, and a clear and spirited call for virtue in American civic life.
A Crustacean Odyssey
A consideration of the lobster in history, myth, art, literature, and cuisine Consider the lobster. An improbable icon, Mesozoic revenant, surrealist fetish, nightmare ornament, and gastronomic adventure, it has fascinated people throughout history. It may be an exaggeration to say that lobsters are a cultural obsession—but only slightly. I, Lobster dissects the place of the lobster in human affairs, through history, science, myth, art, literature, music, movies, and, of course, cuisine. Though not generally beautiful to human eyes, lobsters star in some of the most gorgeous works of art in the world, the still-lifes painted in the Low Countries during the seventeenth century. And while many of us would question their sex appeal, lobsters carried an erotic charge for artists of the twentieth century who, inspired by Freud, found many opportunities to think of them in that way. Nancy Frazier explores diverse facets of our fascination with the lobster, whether in art, myth, or science. She describes how the lobster lives in its natural surroundings: its food, sex life, social life, predators, and general behavior. But I, Lobster goes beyond what we think about and do to the lobster, to explore how lobsters speak to us as signs, symbols, metaphors, code words, myth, lore, and fantasy. With recipes drawn from such notable lobster connoisseurs as M. F. K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, and Craig Claiborne, I, Lobster is a quirky, charming, and weirdly fascinating compendium of lobster lore.
These essays mark the maturation of scholarship on Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), one of the most important public intellectuals of the nineteenth century and a writer whose works have been much revived in recent decades. The authors--leading scholars of Fuller, Transcendentalism, and the antebellum period--consider anew Fuller the critic, the journalist, the reformer, the traveler, and the social and cultural observer, and make fresh contributions to the study of her life and work. Drawing on developments in gender theory, transatlantic studies, and archival excavations of the networks of reform, this volume defines Fuller as a significant intellectual precursor, a critic who analyzed and challenged the dominant interpretive paradigms of her own time and who remains strikingly relevant for ours.
Cash, Cows, and the Death of the American Dairy Farm
The failing economics of the traditional small dairy farm, the rise of the factory mega-farm with its resultant pollution and disease, and the uncertain future of milk There’s something un-American and illogical about a market system where the price of a product bears no relation to the cost of its inputs. Yet we have lived with such a scheme in the dairy industry for decades: retail milk prices have stayed the same, while milk prices paid to farmers have plummeted. The dairy business is at the heart of the culture and economy of Vermont, just as it is of many other states. That fact meant little to Kirk Kardashian until he started taking his daughter to daycare at a dairy farm a few miles from his Vermont home—a farm owned by the same family for generations, but whose owners were now struggling to make ends meet. Suddenly, the abstractions of economics and commodities markets were replaced by the flesh and blood of a farm family whom he greeted every day. In the tradition of Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, Kardashian asks whether it is right that family farmers in America should toil so hard, produce a food so wholesome and so popular, and still lose money. This gripping investigation uncovers the hidden forces behind dairy farm consolidation, and explains why milk—a staple commodity subject to both government oversight and industry collusion—has proven so tricky to stabilize. Meanwhile, every year we continue to lose scores of small dairy farms. With passion, wit, and humor, Milk Money shows where we are now, how we got here, and where we might be going.
Military Fraternity, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France
Following the French Revolution, radical military reforms created conditions for new physical and emotional intimacy between soldiers, establishing a model of fraternal affection that would persist from the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars through the Franco-Prussian War and World War I.
Based on extensive research in French and American archives, and enriched by his reading of Napoleonic military memoirs and French military fiction from Hugo and Balzac to Zola and Proust, Brian Joseph Martin's view encompasses a broad range of emotional and erotic relationships in French armies from 1789 to 1916. He argues that the French Revolution's emphasis on military fraternity evolved into an unprecedented sense of camaraderie among soldiers in the armies of Napoleon. For many soldiers, the hardships of combat led to intimate friendships. For some, the homosociality of military life inspired mutual affection, lifelong commitment, and homoerotic desire.