Synopses & Reviews
As questions of citizenship generate new debates for this generation of Americans, Thomas argues for revitalizing the role of literature in civic education. He considers 4 case studies in which individuals are presented in literature as "the good citizen," "the patriotic citizen," "the independent citizen," and "the immigrant citizen." He also provides analysis of the civic mythology surrounding Abraham Lincoln and the case of Ex parte Milligan. Engaging current debates about civil society, civil liberties, civil rights, and immigration, Thomas draws on the complexities of law and literature to probe the complexities of U.S. citizenship.
From one of the most respected Americanists in the field, . . . Civic Myths
speaks directly to our current legal and political climate. Thomas's forceful argument is both historically salient and utterly timely.
Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University
As questions of citizenship generate new debates for this generation of Americans, Brook Thomas argues for revitalizing the role of literature in civic education. Thomas defines civic myths as compelling stories about national origin, membership, and valu
About the Author
Brook Thomas, Chancellor's Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine, has written five books, including American Literary Realism and the Failed Promise of Contract.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: Working on/with Civic Myths
Chapter 2. The Scarlet Letter: The Good Citizen, Transgression, and Civil Society
Chapter 3. "The Man without a Country": The Patriotic Citizen, Lincoln, and Civil Liberties
Chapter 4. Ex parte Milligan: Civil Liberties v. Civil Rights
Chapter 5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The Independent Citizen, Mugwumpery, and Civil Rights
Chapter 6. China Men: The Immigrant Citizen, Wong Kim Ark, and Civil Talk
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Keeping Discussions of U.S. Citizenship Open