This A-Z, cross-referenced and illustrated title provides a unique overview of the period following the Civil War through the emergence of the United States as a world power at the end of World War I. The set features more than 250 survey entries. Subjects include: political topics (Reform, Women's Suffrage); ideas in context (Scientific Materialism, Darwinism); values (Assimilation, Success); society (Labor, Mass Marketing); genres (Science Fiction, War Writing); popular entertainment (Baseball, Boxing); publishing (Scribner's Magazine); works of literature and nonfiction ("Billy Budd," "The Theory of the Leisure Class"); and much more. The analysis of a wide range of classics in American literature, viewed as cultural and historical documents, cultivates critical skills in reading texts from various perspectives, including aesthetic, biographical, social, historical, racial and gendered. Along with its companion title on the period covering 1820 to 1870, this set provides a comprehensive overview of a key century in American historical and literary studies.
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"This three-volume reference (which complements the three-volume American history through literature 1820-1870) presents lengthy essays on works and themes in literature that contextualize them within their historical milieu. Many essays feature an individual work for the subject, describing the work's critical reception and interpretation while focusing on the events or themes it depicts, such as racism, class, or philosophical or religious belief. Thematic essays, including those on adolescence, city dwellers, humor, or social Darwinism, explore the meaning and impact of the concept during the era, with many specific literary examples. Each essay concludes with cross referencing and bibliography. May b&w images are included. The contributors teach English or history, mainly in the US."
--Booknews.com, May 2007
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