“‘American literature’ seems by now so natural and inevitable an entity that we forget that it did not just grow organically out of American soil, much less spring full blown from the minds of a few geniuses. In this highly readable study, David Shumway recovers the forgotten social, historical, and institutional conditions that explain why the concepts both of ‘literature’ and of distinctive literary Americanness emerged together at a particular time and place and how their merger reshaped America's educational vision. Shumway has written a penetrating and provocative account of the making of American Civilization as an academic field.” --Gerald Graff, University of Chicago
Subjects: Language & Literature
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