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A Fool's Errand (Belknap Press)

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A Fool's Errand (Belknap Press) Cover

ISBN13: 9780674307513
ISBN10: 0674307518
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What was a carpetbagger? Albion W. Tourgée was called one, and he wrote, "To the southern mind it meant a scion of the North, a son of an 'abolitionist,' a creature of the conqueror, a witness to their defeat, a mark of their degradation: to them he was hateful, because he recalled all of evil or of shame they had ever known ... To the Northern mind, however, the word had no vicarious significance. To their apprehension, the hatred was purely personal, and without regard to race or nativity. They thought (foolish creatures!) that it was meant to apply solely to those, who, without any visible means of support, lingering in the wake of a victorious army, preyed upon the conquered people."

Tourgée's novel, originally published in 1879 anonymously as A Fool's Errand, By One of the Fools, is not strictly autobiographical, though it draws on Tourgée's own experiences in the South. In the story Comfort Servosse, a Northerner of French ancestry, moves to a Southern state for his health and in the hope of making his fortune. These were also Tourgée's motives for moving South. Servosse is caught up in a variety of experiences that make apparent the deep misunderstanding between North and South, and expresses opinions on the South's intolerance, the treatment of the Negro, Reconstruction, and other issues that probably are the opinions of Tourgée himself. "Reconstruction was a failure," he said, "so far as it attempted to unify the nation, to make one people in fact of what had been one only in name before the convulsion of Civil War. It was a failure, too, so far as it attempted to fix and secure the position and rights of the colored race."

Though the discussion of sectional and racial problems is an important element in the book, A Fool's Errand has merit as a dramatic narrative--with its love affair, and its moments of pathos, suffering, and tragedy. This combination of tract and melodrama made it a bestseller in its day. Total sales have been estimated as 200,000, a remarkable record in the l880's for a book of this kind.

Though Tourgée later disavowed his early optimism about the role national education could play in remedying the race problem in the South, calling this a "genuine fools notion," he might have been less pessimistic had he been alive in 1960, when the student sit-in movement began in the South. At any rate, today in what has been called the second phase of the modern revolution in race relations in this country, Tourgée's novel about the first phase has an added relevance and interest for thinking American readers.

Albion W. Tourgée was born in Williamsfield, Ohio, in 1838, attended the University of Rochester, and saw intermittent action (1861-1863) in the Union Army during the Civil Way. After his discharge he studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1864, and when the war ended, he settled in Greens- here, North Carolina, where he soon rose to prominence, as judge and as outspoken opponent of the anti-Reconstructionists. He left the state in 1879. Among his published works are 'Toinette (1874), Figs and Thistles (1879), Bricks Without Straw (1880), John Eax (1882), and Hot Plowshares (1883). He died in 1903 while serving as American consul in Bordeaux.

Synopsis:

Though the discussion of sectional and racial problems is an important element in the book, A Fool's Errand has merit as a dramatic narrative--with its love affair, and its moments of pathos, suffering, and tragedy. This combination of tract and melodrama made it a bestseller in its day. Total sales have been estimated as 200,000, a remarkable record in the l880's for a book of this kind.

About the Author

John Hope Franklin was Professor of History and Chairman of the Department of History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of From Slavery to Freedom, A History of American Negroes (1947; 1956), The Militant South (1956), and Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961).

Table of Contents

  • “Albion Tourgée, Social Critic,” by John Hope Franklin
  • Letter To The Publishers

I. The Genesis of Folly

II. Le Premier Acces

III. Sorrow Cometh With Knowledge

IV. From Bad to Worse

V. The Oracle Is Consulted

VI. All Lost but Honor

VII. An Old “Unioner”

VIII. “Their Exits and Their Entrances”

IX. The New Kingdom

X. Poor Tray

XI. A Cat in a Strange Garret

XII. Compelled to Volunteer

XIII. A Two-Handed Game

XIV. Murder Most Foul

XV. “Who Is My Neighbor?”

XVI. The Edge of Hospitality Dulled

XVII. The Second Mile Post

XVIII. Congratulation and Condolence

XIX. Citizens in Embryo

XX. Out of Due Season

XXI. How the Wise Men Builded

XXII. Cock-Crow

XXIII. The Diets Cast

XXIV. “Wisdom Crieth in the Streets”

XXV. A Grumbler’s Forecast

XXVI. Balakandbalaam

XXVII.An New Institution

XXVIII. A Bundle of Dry Sticks

XXIX. Footing Up the Ledger

XXX. A Thrice-Told Tale

XXXI. The Folly of Wisdom

XXXII. “Out of the Abundance of the Heart”

XXXIII. “Love Me, Love My Dog”

XXXIV. The Harvest Of Wisdom

XXXV. An Awakening

XXXVI. A Race Against Time

XXXVII. The “Reb” View of It

XXXVIII. “And All the World was in a Sea”

XXXIX. “Light Shineth in Darkness”

XL. Pro Bono Publico

XLI. “Peace in Warsaw”

XLII. A Friendly Mediation

XLIII. Unconditional Surrender

XLIV. Pride Overmatching Pride

XLV. Wisdom and Folly Meet Together

XLVI. Home at Last

XLVII. Monumentum

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

dlamara, April 29, 2009 (view all comments by dlamara)
epic stuff
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780674307513
Editor:
Franklin, John Hope
Editor:
Tourgee, Albion W.
Editor:
Franklin, John Hope
Editor:
Tourgee, Albion W.
Edited:
Franklin, Tourgee, Albion W., John Hope
Author:
Won
Author:
Tourgee, Albi
Author:
Tourgee, Albion Winegar
Author:
Franklin, John Hope
Author:
Tourgee, Albion W.
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
American
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Ameracan factacn (factacnal wcrks by cne auth
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
African-American & Black
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
HISTORY / United States/Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies/African-American Studies
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Series:
The John Harvard Library
Series Volume:
13
Publication Date:
December 1961
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
436
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in 17 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

A Fool's Errand (Belknap Press) New Trade Paper
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Product details 436 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674307513 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Though the discussion of sectional and racial problems is an important element in the book, A Fool's Errand has merit as a dramatic narrative--with its love affair, and its moments of pathos, suffering, and tragedy. This combination of tract and melodrama made it a bestseller in its day. Total sales have been estimated as 200,000, a remarkable record in the l880's for a book of this kind.
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