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The Making of Racial Sentiment
Slavery and the Birth of The Frontier Romance

$46.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture

  • Author: Ezra Tawil, University of Rochester, New York
  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521073042

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The frontier romance, an enormously popular genre of American fiction born in the 1820s, helped redefine ‘race’ for an emerging national culture. Ezra Tawil argues that the novel of white-Indian conflict provided authors and readers with an apt analogy for the problem of slavery. By uncovering the sentimental aspects of the frontier romance, Tawil redraws the lines of influence between the ‘Indian novel’ of the 1820s and the sentimental novel of slavery, demonstrating how Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin ought to be reconsidered in this light. This study reveals how American literature of the 1820s helped form modern ideas about racial differences.

    • A concise and detailed history of the idea of 'race' in American culture
    • New readings of Fenimore Cooper and Stowe
    • Shows how cultural assumptions about race were first defined in the 1820s
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[The author] develops his broad-ranging, provocative argument patiently and elegantly–and with a careful precision of expression that makes the book accessible to a broad audience. Highly recommended." –Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521073042
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: toward a literary history of racial sentiment
    1. The politics of slavery and the discourse of race, 1787–1840
    2. Remaking natural rights: race and slavery in James Fenimore Cooper's early writings
    3. Domestic frontier romance, or, how the sentimental heroine became white
    4. 'Homely legends': the uses of sentiment in Cooper's Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish
    5. Stowe's vanishing Americans: 'Negro' inferiority, captivity, and homecoming in Uncle Tom's Cabin
    6. Captain Babo's cabin: racial sentiment and the politics of misreading in Benito Cereno

  • Author

    Ezra Tawil, University of Rochester, New York
    Ezra F. Tawil is Assistant Professor of English at Columbia University.

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