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25 Remote Warehouse Literary Criticism- General

American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945

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American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These insights lay the groundwork for American Hungers, in which Jones uncovers a complex and controversial discourse on the poor that stretches from the antebellum era through the Depression.

Reading writers such as Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright in their historical contexts, Jones explores why they succeeded where literary critics have fallen short. These authors acknowledged a poverty that was as aesthetically and culturally significant as it was socially and materially real. They confronted the ideological dilemmas of approaching poverty while giving language to the marginalized poor--the beggars, tramps, sharecroppers, and factory workers who form a persistent segment of American society. Far from peripheral, poverty emerges at the center of national debates about social justice, citizenship, and minority identity. And literature becomes a crucial tool to understand an economic and cultural condition that is at once urgent and elusive because it cuts across the categories of race, gender, and class by which we conventionally understand social difference.

Combining social theory with literary analysis, American Hungers masterfully brings poverty into the mainstream critical idiom.

Synopsis:

Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These insights lay the groundwork for American Hungers, in which Jones uncovers a complex and controversial discourse on the poor that stretches from the antebellum era through the Depression.

Reading writers such as Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright in their historical contexts, Jones explores why they succeeded where literary critics have fallen short. These authors acknowledged a poverty that was as aesthetically and culturally significant as it was socially and materially real. They confronted the ideological dilemmas of approaching poverty while giving language to the marginalized poor--the beggars, tramps, sharecroppers, and factory workers who form a persistent segment of American society. Far from peripheral, poverty emerges at the center of national debates about social justice, citizenship, and minority identity. And literature becomes a crucial tool to understand an economic and cultural condition that is at once urgent and elusive because it cuts across the categories of race, gender, and class by which we conventionally understand social difference.

Combining social theory with literary analysis, American Hungers masterfully brings poverty into the mainstream critical idiom.

Synopsis:

"'Race' and 'class' have circled around each other for the past ten years without yet producing a convincing dialectical synthesis. American Hungers is the most intense, impassioned, and--in sum--important attempt to produce such a synthesis that I know of. While its prose and the general shape of its arguments are crystal clear, it is a demanding book in the best sense, a call to literary and cultural criticism to see things differently."--Mark McGurl, UCLA

About the Author

Gavin Jones is professor of English at Stanford University. He is the author of "Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America".

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Preface xiii

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691143316
Subtitle:
The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945
Author:
Jones, Gavin
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
Poverty
Subject:
American
Subject:
American Language and Literature
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
20/21
Publication Date:
20091101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 halftones.
Pages:
248
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 12 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 New Trade Paper
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Product details 248 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691143316 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These insights lay the groundwork for American Hungers, in which Jones uncovers a complex and controversial discourse on the poor that stretches from the antebellum era through the Depression.

Reading writers such as Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright in their historical contexts, Jones explores why they succeeded where literary critics have fallen short. These authors acknowledged a poverty that was as aesthetically and culturally significant as it was socially and materially real. They confronted the ideological dilemmas of approaching poverty while giving language to the marginalized poor--the beggars, tramps, sharecroppers, and factory workers who form a persistent segment of American society. Far from peripheral, poverty emerges at the center of national debates about social justice, citizenship, and minority identity. And literature becomes a crucial tool to understand an economic and cultural condition that is at once urgent and elusive because it cuts across the categories of race, gender, and class by which we conventionally understand social difference.

Combining social theory with literary analysis, American Hungers masterfully brings poverty into the mainstream critical idiom.

"Synopsis" by , "'Race' and 'class' have circled around each other for the past ten years without yet producing a convincing dialectical synthesis. American Hungers is the most intense, impassioned, and--in sum--important attempt to produce such a synthesis that I know of. While its prose and the general shape of its arguments are crystal clear, it is a demanding book in the best sense, a call to literary and cultural criticism to see things differently."--Mark McGurl, UCLA
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