The grammar of good intentions : race and the antebellum culture of benevolence.
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Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2003. Hardcover. Dustjacket.xii, 235 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Condition : very good. ISBN 9780801439551[KEYWORDS: CULTURAL STUDIES, Buchnummer des Verkäufers 242759
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Ryan puts familiar literary works such as Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man, Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin back into dialogue with a broad range of print materials: the reports of charity societies, African American and Native American newspapers, juvenile fiction, travel writing, cartoons, sermons, and tract literature. In the process, she dispels the myth that authors usually classified as literary were responding to a simple and unquestioned cult of benevolence. Rather, she contends, they were participating in the complex and often rancorous debates occurring within the broader culture over how good intentions should be expressed and enacted.
Ryan’s inquiry into the antebellum culture of benevolence has implications for contemporary U.S. society, resonating especially with recent debates over welfare reform, the politics of compassionate conservatism, and representations of "welfare queens" and violent urban youth. As Ryan writes, "The conversations that this book reconstructs remind us of our ongoing participation in the national ritual of laying claim to good intentions."
Umschlagtext: "Ryan's focus on benevolence as a primary project of antebellum culture is a compelling one and accomplishes many things at once. It brings together a range of activities that are most often treated separately in order to view them as part of the larger humanitarian gesture that characterized this period. The Grammar of Good Intentions effectively breaks down rigid distinctions between public and private spheres, challenges traditional notions of male and female activities, and allows for a discussion of benevolence in the forms of both activism and representation."—Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland
"The Grammar of Good Intentions is a marvelous book. It offers a way of reframing issues that have become central to the study of nineteenth-century literature and culture, and productively and importantly challenges how they can be seen. Susan M. Ryan makes it clear that the habits and anxieties of benevolence affected how nineteenth-century Americans thought about race."—Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Amherst College
Titel: The grammar of good intentions : race and ...
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