Journals Higher Education



Published: 07 August 1986

200 Pages

ISBN: 9780195041316

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)

Hard Facts

Setting and Form in the American Novel

Philip Fisher

This study of the popular 19th- and early 20th-century American novel demonstrates how such works as Dreiser's Sister Carrie, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Cooper's The Deerslayer worked to make the "hard facts" of 19th-century America--the relocation of the Indians and destruction of the wilderness in the West; slavery in the South; and self-commercialization in the industrial North--known to their wide audience of readers. Fisher's perceptive analysis proves that the important cultural "work" was accomplished not by authors who are usually placed at the core of the American literary canon (Hawthorne, Melville, Twain) but rather by authors who never abandoned the ambition to be widely read.