Journals Higher Education

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The Changing Fortunes of American Realism

Andrew Lawson

  • Combines the methods of social and economic history with detailed close readings
  • Challenges the dominant periodization of realism, locating the rise of realist writing in the antebellum period of the market revolution rather than during the postwar consolidation of capitalism
  • Argues for the centrality of class as an analytic category in American literary history

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