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A Political Companion to Herman Melville.

By: Frank, Jason.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Political Companions to Great American Authors: Publisher: Lexington : The University Press of Kentucky, 2013Description: 1 online resource (457 p.).ISBN: 9780813143897.Subject(s): Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Political and social views | Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Race in literature | Social classes in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: A Political Companion to Herman MelvilleDDC classification: 813.3 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Front Cover; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Contents; Series Foreword; Introduction: American Tragedy; Chapter 1. Who Eats Whom?; Chapter 2. "The End Was in the Beginning"; Chapter 3. Chasing the Whale; Chapter 4. Ahab, American; Chapter 5. "Mighty Lordships in the Heart of the Republic"; Chapter 6. Melville and the Cadaverous Triumphs of Transcendentalism; Chapter 7. Language and Labor, Silence and Statis; Chapter 8. Melville's "Permanent Riotocracy"; Chapter 9. What Babo Saw; Chapter 10. "Follow Your Leader"; Chapter 11. The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating Revisited
Chapter 12. Melville's War Poetry and the Human FormChapter 13. The Lyre of Orpheus; Chapter 14. Melville's Law; Acknowledgments; Selected Bibliography; Contributors; Index; Series Page
Summary: Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition."This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.
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Front Cover; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Contents; Series Foreword; Introduction: American Tragedy; Chapter 1. Who Eats Whom?; Chapter 2. "The End Was in the Beginning"; Chapter 3. Chasing the Whale; Chapter 4. Ahab, American; Chapter 5. "Mighty Lordships in the Heart of the Republic"; Chapter 6. Melville and the Cadaverous Triumphs of Transcendentalism; Chapter 7. Language and Labor, Silence and Statis; Chapter 8. Melville's "Permanent Riotocracy"; Chapter 9. What Babo Saw; Chapter 10. "Follow Your Leader"; Chapter 11. The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating Revisited

Chapter 12. Melville's War Poetry and the Human FormChapter 13. The Lyre of Orpheus; Chapter 14. Melville's Law; Acknowledgments; Selected Bibliography; Contributors; Index; Series Page

Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition."This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Calling Melville "America's Ishmael"--prophet and outcast--editor Frank (Cornell Univ.) rightly asserts that Melville's books strike "a note of dissonance in the established harmonies of the American political tradition." Those harmonies consist of the natural-rights republicanism of the founders--shadowed by slavery--and later, Progressivism. Opposed in principle, these stances nonetheless shared a certain optimism, a confidence that evils can be limited (the founders) or overcome (the Progressives). As a young man, Melville endorsed the Young America movement; Young America enthusiasts committed themselves and their nation to a grand "destiny" called "manifest"--optimistic, indeed. Frank and his contributors see that Melville came to think, "Here tragedy begins." Strictly if not relentlessly left-of-center politically, the contributors at their best eschew deconstructionist distractions, sticking to Melville's books and to the books he read, including the Bible, Shakespeare's plays, Rousseau, and de Tocqueville. Standouts are George Schulman and Susan McWilliams on Moby-Dick, Shannon L. Mariotti on "Bartleby the Scrivener," Tracy B. Strong on "Benito Cereno," Roger Berkowitz on Battle-Pieces, and Frank on Billy Budd. Ideological preoccupations dog Michael Jonik on The Encantadas, Thomas Dumm on The Confidence Man, and Jennifer L. Culbert on Billy Budd. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty. W. Morrisey Hillsdale College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p>Jason Frank is associate professor of government at Cornell University. He is the author of Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America and Publius and Political Imaginatio n and coeditor of Vocations of Political Theory .</p>

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