Journals Higher Education



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Published: 20 May 2010

408 Pages


ISBN: 9780195395921

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Philadelphia Stories

America's Literature of Race and Freedom

Samuel Otter

  • First book to argue for a distinctive, major literary tradition centered on Philadelphia and considers the city's historically unique involvement with issues of race, character, and freedom, and its role as cosmopolitan center
  • Bridges the persistent gap in U.S. literary histories between the late-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries
  • Abandons outworn models of Manichean racial categories to illustrate the vibrant commingling of cultures that took place between African American and European cultures in the mid-Atlantic region
  • Discusses a wide range of cultural documents and artifacts that vividly bring the period to life, including visual materials, nonfictional narratives found in memoirs, letters, and newspapers; and well-known texts by Poe, Melville, and James alongside lesser-known novels by George Lippard, Frank J. Webb, and Robert Montgomery Bird