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BOOK REVIEWS out Samuel Clemens in Elmira, New York, he did so out of a deep admiration for that writer's works and from a conviction that Mark Twain was in a sense America—the best of America. His account in Kipling's America of the two hours or so that he spent with Mark Twain sparkle with the esteem and respect in which he held the author of Tom Sawyer. All of America's forthrightness and insistence on fairness, all of America 's love of down-to-earth humor, he saw manifested in this man that he had come so far to see and hear, this man who made him appreciate even more what he already knew, that facts, real and solid, are the basis for all good writing. Kipling reminisced in his autobiography that he began his novel Captains Courageous with a desire "to see if I could catch and hold something of a rather beautiful localised American atmosphere that was already beginning to fade." That he found something "rather beautiful" in America may surprise some, but here and there in his letters of travel and elsewhere, he lets slip notes of genuine affection. "I like America," he told a reporter in Melbourne, Australia. "When I am there I am railing at the country; but, out of it, I want to get back there." Kipling's America ends with a London interview of 29 June 1890. Having just recently vented his anger and disgust at the various manifestations of enthusiasm he encountered in America the Optimist, he now confessed that "in my letters to the Pioneer, in India, I hurled twelve-barrelled curses at the country," but "I like the people immensely .... Met some wonderfully nice people there. The Americans are nearer to my life than the English." The complexity and ambiguity that marked Kipling's writings about America are amply represented in this expertly and admirably edited collection. WILLIAM B. DILLINGHAM ________________ Emory University The British & Colonial Press Julie F. Codell, ed. Imperial Co-Histories: National Identities and the British and Colonial Press. Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003. 328 pp. $57.50. EXPOSING AND DETAILING the subtle challenges to colonial "prejudices" in the late-Victorian and early-modern press provides this collection of essays with its impetus. The result is a vigorous, detailed, and readable book that explores the colonial construction of empire and the postcolonial resistance to it in the Victorian home and colonial press. 335 ELT 47 : 3 2004 Interdisciplinary in scope, Imperial Co-Histories addresses and synthesizes historical, literary, and anthropological interests, offering arresting insights into the inescapable effects of colonization on various forms of writing and representation in the media, from art history to missionary reports. Postcolonial theory informs and ultimately unifies these essays, and a major strength is the collection's interweaving of eclectic readings of empire into a coherent narrative that reveals and responds to colonialist ideologies and processes. The essays target the British popular press of the second half of the nineteenth century as a site of contestation where national identity was constructed and, often, deconstructed. In so doing, they respond to a historical coincidence since the rise of the press coincided with the height of empire and with early modern doubts about it at the end of the nineteenth century. Julie Codell engagingly introduces the volume's dozen essays, which are divided into two sections: Sites of Authority and Sites of Fracture. As this division suggests, the press is seen as a point of intersection between national and imperial discourses, an instrument of empire and of postcolonial resistance, enabling the construction of "co-histories" whereby metropolitan and colonial histories are forced into mutually influential contiguity. Part 1 engages with representations of imperialism in the British press, the studies extending to The Imperial Gazetteer, Blackwood's Magazine, and the construction of South Africa in the Pall Mall Gazette, the Daily Graphic, and The Times. These are supplemented by studies of the rise and political impact of the telegraphic news agencies in London, Paris, and Berlin, and of the Imperial Press Conference of June 1909, with the mother country's tacit appeal for support against Germany from the empire...


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pp. 335-339
Launched on MUSE
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Will Be Archived 2021
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