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This violent empire : the birth of an American national identity / Carroll Smith-Rosenberg.

By: Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll.
Contributor(s): Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia: Publisher: Chapel Hill : Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, [2010]Copyright date: ©2010Description: 1 online resource (xxii, 484 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781469600390; 1469600390.Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: This violent empireDDC classification: 973.2/5 LOC classification: E164 | .S64 2010Other classification: 15.85 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Introduction: "What, then, is the American, this new man?" -- Section 1. The new American-as-republican citizen -- Prologue 1: The drums of war/the thrust of empire -- Fusions and confusions -- Rebellious dandies and political fictions -- American Minervas -- Section 2. Dangerous doubles -- Prologue 2: Masculinity and masquerade -- Seeing red -- Subject female : authorizing an American identity -- Section 3. The new American-as-bourgeois gentleman -- Prologue 3: The ball -- Choreographing class/performing gentility -- Polished gentlemen, troublesome women, and dancing slaves -- Black gothic.
Review: "This Violent Empire traces the origins of American violence, racism, and paranoia to the founding moments of the new nation and the initial instability of Americans' national sense of self." "Fusing cultural and political analyses to create a new form of political history, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg explores the ways the founding generation, lacking a common history, governmental infrastructures, and shared culture, solidified their national sense of self by imagining a series of "Others" (African Americans, Native Americans, women, the propertyless) whose differences from European American male founders overshadowed the differences that divided those founders. These "Others," dangerous and polluting, had to be excluded from the European American body politic. Feared, but also desired, they refused to be marginalized, incurring increasingly enraged enactments of their political and social exclusion that shaped our long history of racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Close readings of political rhetoric during the Constitutional debates reveal the genesis of this long history."--Jacket.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
E164 .S64 2010 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9780807895917_Smith-Rosenberg Available ocn861793465

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction: "What, then, is the American, this new man?" -- Section 1. The new American-as-republican citizen -- Prologue 1: The drums of war/the thrust of empire -- Fusions and confusions -- Rebellious dandies and political fictions -- American Minervas -- Section 2. Dangerous doubles -- Prologue 2: Masculinity and masquerade -- Seeing red -- Subject female : authorizing an American identity -- Section 3. The new American-as-bourgeois gentleman -- Prologue 3: The ball -- Choreographing class/performing gentility -- Polished gentlemen, troublesome women, and dancing slaves -- Black gothic.

"This Violent Empire traces the origins of American violence, racism, and paranoia to the founding moments of the new nation and the initial instability of Americans' national sense of self." "Fusing cultural and political analyses to create a new form of political history, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg explores the ways the founding generation, lacking a common history, governmental infrastructures, and shared culture, solidified their national sense of self by imagining a series of "Others" (African Americans, Native Americans, women, the propertyless) whose differences from European American male founders overshadowed the differences that divided those founders. These "Others," dangerous and polluting, had to be excluded from the European American body politic. Feared, but also desired, they refused to be marginalized, incurring increasingly enraged enactments of their political and social exclusion that shaped our long history of racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Close readings of political rhetoric during the Constitutional debates reveal the genesis of this long history."--Jacket.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Through an extraordinarily original analysis of the early republic's print culture, including political magazines, newspapers, and novels, Smith-Rosenberg (Mary Frances Berry Collegiate Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Michigan, Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America) presents readers with the true American paradox of a land that celebrates its rich diversity while simultaneously excluding and marginalizing particular groups. Her central argument is that postrevolutionary attempts to construct a unified "American" identity based on principles of equality and a merging of republicanism with bourgeois commercial capitalism faltered in the face of deeply entrenched cultural and economic divisions as well as bitter racial and gender discrimination. The more unstable and ambiguous these newly fashioned identities became, the more they required a series of constituted "others," including rural farmers, Native Americans, bourgeois women, and enslaved African Americans. These others refused to give in, struck back, and further destabilized an already fragmented national identity. VERDICT Smith-Rosenberg has unflinchingly constructed a dynamic new paradigm for understanding "postcolonial" American society. While her work is certainly academic in tone and complex subject matter, its provocative expose of the modern American issues of racism, xenophobia, and sexism makes it essential reading for everyone seriously interested in American history.-Brian Odom, Pelham P.L., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

This Violent Empire is not really about either violence or empire: the subtitle explains its true interest--the difficult and problematic attempt to construct a cohesive, unifying American cultural identity out of the diverse elements of the new nation. Gender, race, and class differences were critical fault lines, and Smith-Rosenberg (emer., Michigan) focuses on how the nation's wealthy male and urban cultural and political elite came to grips with the major "Others" in their society--women, African Americans, Native Americans, farmers, and working- and middle-class Americans. But divisive opinions about modernity, capitalism, consumerism, and self-interest, or tensions between ideals of democracy and equality and nationalistic desires for empire, also fostered conflict. In the end, the endeavor was a largely failed one, as all of these matters remained deeply contested. It is hard to imagine a more complex and difficult topic, made more difficult by the author's lapsing rather too easily into the esoteric jargon and word games fashionable in contemporary literary criticism and theory. Nonetheless, this is a big, rich, thoughtful book about an important topic. It should be widely considered among the dozen or so most important books published this year on US history. Mandatory reading for advanced students of American culture. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. K. Blaser emeritus, Wayne State College

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