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As James Buchanan took office in 1857, the United States found itself at a crossroads. Dissolution of the Union had been averted and the Democratic Party maintained control of the federal government, but the nation watched to see if Pennsylvania's first president could make good on his promise to calm sectional tensions.
Despite Buchanan's central role in a crucial hour in U.S. history, few presidents have been more ignored by historians. In assembling the essays for this volume, Michael Birkner and John Quist have asked leading scholars to reconsider whether Buchanan’s failures stemmed from his own mistakes or from circumstances that no president could have overcome.
Buchanan's dealings with Utah shed light on his handling of the secession crisis. His approach to Dred Scott reinforces the image of a president whose doughface views were less a matter of hypocrisy than a thorough identification with southern interests. Essays on the secession crisis provide fodder for debate about the strengths and limitations of presidential authority in an existential moment for the young nation.
Although the essays in this collection offer widely differing interpretations of Buchanan's presidency, they all grapple honestly with the complexities of the issues faced by the man who sat in the White House prior to the towering figure of Lincoln, and contribute to a deeper understanding of a turbulent and formative era.
James Cameron (b. 1954) is lauded as one of the most successful and innovative filmmakers of the last thirty years. His films often break records, both in their massive budgets and in their box-office earnings. They include such hits as The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Titanic, and Avatar. Part scientist, part dramatist, Cameron combines these two qualities into inventive and captivating films that often push the boundaries of special effects to accommodate his imagination. James Cameron: Interviews chronicles the writer-director's rise through the Hollywood system, highlighted by his "can-do" attitude and his insatiable drive to make the best film possible.
As a young boy growing up in Canada, Cameron imagined himself an astronaut, a deep-sea explorer, a science fiction writer, or a filmmaker. Transplanted to southern California, he would go on to realize many of those boyhood fantasies.
This collection of interviews provides glimpses of the filmmaker as he advances from Roger Corman's underling to "king of the world." The interviews are drawn from a number of sources including TV appearances and conversations on blogs, which have never been published in print. Spanning more than twenty years, this collection constructs a concise and thorough examination of Cameron, a filmmaker who has almost single-handedly ushered Hollywood into the twenty-first century.
A Critical Reader
The Many Faces of Rebel Iconography
After the death of James Dean in 1955, the figure of the teen rebel permeated the globe, and its presence is still felt in the twenty-first century. Rebel iconography—which does not have to resemble James Dean himself, but merely incorporates his disaffected attitude—has become an advertising mainstay used to sell an array of merchandise and messages. Despite being overused in advertisements, it still has the power to surprise when used by authors and filmmakers in innovative and provocative ways. The rebel figure has mass appeal precisely because of its ambiguities; it can mean anything to anyone. The global appropriation of rebel iconography has invested it with fresh meanings. Author Claudia Springer succeeds here in analyzing both ends of the spectrum—the rebel icon as a tool in upholding capitalism’s cycle of consumption, and as a challenge to that cycle and its accompanying beliefs. In this groundbreaking study of rebel iconography in international popular culture, Springer studies a variety of texts from the United States and abroad that use this imagery in contrasting and thought-provoking ways. Using a cultural studies approach, she analyzes films, fiction, poems, Web sites, and advertisements to determine the extent to which the icon’s adaptations have been effective as a response to the actual social problems affecting contemporary adolescents around the world.
The Selected Poems
James Dickey: The Selected Poems is the first book to collect James Dickey's very best poems. Like many visionary poets of the ecstatic imagination, Dickey experimented in a wide variety of literary styles. This volume brings together the finest work from each of the periods in Dickey's extremely controversial career. For over three decades, until his death in 1997, Dickey was one of the nation's most important poets; these are the poems that brought him a popular readership and critical acclaim.
University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers
James Fenimore Cooper - American Writers 48 was first published in 1965. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers
James Gould Cozzens - American Writers 58 was first published in 1966. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Loyalty, Politics, and Commerce in Colonial Georgia
But Habersham's story is more than biography. It also provides a window into colonial Georgia and its transformation from a struggling colony on the brink of collapse in the 1740s to a prosperous province in the 1770s, confident enough to defy the Crown. Ranging over such topics as the rise of Methodist missionary fervor, the development of transatlantic trade, the introduction of slavery, and the escalating debate over American independence, Frank Lambert tells how Habersham's success is inextricably tied to Georgia's fortunes and how he played a major role in helping the colony exploit its abundant resources. Habersham's economic development plan provided a blueprint for attracting new settlers, supplying an abundance of cheap labor, and opening new markets.
Habersham's achievements, however, are obscured by his unpopular stance on American independence. While his three sons distinguished themselves as Patriots, Habersham remained loyal to the Crown, though he had opposed Britain's new imperial policies in the 1760's. Nevertheless, it was Habersham's loyal service to colonial Georgia that enabled the colony to separate successfully from the mother country and assume its place in the new republic as a prosperous, vigorous state.
James Hall, Literary Pioneer of the Ohio Valley was first published in 1941. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
For generations the attention of students of American literature has been directed toward the Atlantic seaboard, but the rise of regional literature and the development of genuine artists in various parts of the United States has caused them to turn their scrutiny westward. High on the western horizon of the early 1800's stands James Hall, a literary pioneer in the Ohio Valley, one of the minor literary figures whose influence on the artistic consciousness of the frontier was widely felt.
Author, critic, journalist, editor, publisher, and historian—few men have had more to do with the early cultural development of the Middle West. Every historian of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys is indebted to Hall for facts and details of life in America in the early nineteenth century.
A circuit judge when there were only 55,000 people in all Illinois—he had an unparalleled opportunity to observe the life and customs of the times. A publisher of the first literary magazine west of the Ohio when there were more Indians and horse thieves in the state than there were literate readers—he had a virgin field for awakening the artistic, literary, even scientific, interest of the frontier.
He organized the first State Historical Society of Illinois, was state treasurer, published two newspapers, welcomed Lafayette on his triumphal tour, edited the first literary annual in the West, awarded a prize to Harriet Beecher (Stowe) for her "New England Sketch," published in his magazine. Moving to Cincinnati when it was at the peak of its sectional importance, an intellectual and cultural oasis on the frontier, Hall continued his sponsorship of education and culture.
James Hall's own published works were multitudinous in the fields of fiction, biography, poetry, criticism, history, and anthropology. His picture of the prairies in his day is still one of the best accounts ever written and his Indian Tribes of North America a monumental volume, but none of his works is of first-rate importance. Nevertheless, because of the tremendous variety of his activities and the breadth of his influence, he left his stamp upon the history and the literature of the region.
Hall's work is an honest, vigorous record of the path of the American pioneer in the days of the rapid growth and expansion of a new nation, and an understanding of his contribution is obligatory for every serious student of American literature.
A Design for Mastery
From his birth in 1807 to his death in 1864 as Sherman’s troops marched in triumph toward South Carolina, James Henry Hammond witnessed the rise and fall of the cotton kingdom of the Old South. Planter, politician, and partisan of slavery, Hammond built a career for himself that in its breadth and ambition provides a composite portrait of the civilization in which he flourished. A long-awaited biography, Drew Gilpin Faust’s James Henry Hammond and the Old South reveals the South Carolina planter who was at once characteristic of his age and unique among men of his time. Of humble origins, Hammond set out to conquer his society, to make himself a leader and a spokesman for the Old South. Through marriage he acquired a large plantation and many slaves, and then through shrewd management and progressive farming techniques he soon became one of the wealthiest men in South Carolina. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served as governor of his state. A scandal over his personal life forced him to retreat for many years to his plantation, but eventually he returned to public view, winning a seat in the United States Senate that he resigned when South Carolina seceded from the Union. James Henry Hammond’s ambition was unquenchable. It consumed his life, directed almost his every move, and ultimately, in its titanic calculation and rigidity, destroyed the man confined within it. Like Faulkner’s Thomas Sutpen, Faust suggests, Hammond had a “design,” a compulsion to direct every moment of his life toward self-aggrandizement and legitimation. Hammond envisioned himself as the benevolent, paternal, but absolute master of his family and his slaves. But in reality, neither his family, his slaves, nor even his own behavior was completely under his command. Hammond ardently wished to perfect and preserve the southern way of life. But these goals were also beyond his control. At the time of his death it had become clear to him that his world, the world of the Old South, had ended.