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Pastoral Cities: Urban Ideals and the Symbolic Landscape of America (History of American Thought & Culture)

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Pastoral Cities: Urban Ideals and the Symbolic Landscape of America (History of American Thought & Culture) Cover

 

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Publisher Comments:

What has the city meant to Americans? James L. Machor explores this question in a provocative analysis of American responses to urbanization in the context of the culture’s tendency to valorize nature and the rural world.

    Although much attention has been paid to American rural-urban relations, Machor focuses on a dimension largely overlooked by those seeking to explain American conceptions of the city. While urban historians and literary critics have explicitly or implicitly emphasized the opposition between urban and rural sensibilities in America, an equally important feature of American thought and writing has been the widespread interest in collapsing that division. Convinced that the native landscape has offered special opportunities, Americans since the age of settlement have sought to build a harmonious urban-pastoral society combining the best of both worlds. Moreover, this goal has gone largely unchallenged in the culture except for the sophisticated responses in the writings of some of America’s most eminent literary artists.

    Pastoral Cities explains the development of urban pastoralism from its origins in the prophetic vision of the New Jerusalem, applied to America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through its secularization in the urban planning and reform of the 1800s. Machor critiques the sophisticated treatment of urban pastoralism by writers such as Emerson, Whitman, Hawthorne, Wharton, and James by skillfully by combining cultural analysis with a close reading of urban plans, travel narratives, sermons, and popular novels. The product of this multifaceted approach is an analysis that works to reveal both the strengths and weaknesses of the pastoral ideal as cultural mythology.

About the Author

James L. Machor is professor of English at Kansas State University. He is author and editor of many books, including Reception Study: From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies and Readers in History: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Context of Response.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780299112844
Author:
Machor, James L.
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Location:
Madison, Wis. :
Subject:
United states
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Cities and towns
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Urbanization
Subject:
City and town life in literature
Subject:
Nature in literature
Subject:
Symbolism in literature
Subject:
Landscape in literature
Subject:
Pastoral literature, American.
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
United States Civilization.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
History of American Thought and Culture
Series Volume:
99-670
Publication Date:
19870631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.99x6.00x.65 in. .83 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Pastoral Cities: Urban Ideals and the Symbolic Landscape of America (History of American Thought & Culture) New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages University of Wisconsin Press - English 9780299112844 Reviews:
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