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God, Guns, Gold and Glory

American Character and its Discontents

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Lauren Langman and George Lundskow

America, beginning as a small group of devout Puritan settlers, ultimately became the richest, most powerful Empire in the history of the world, but having reached that point, is now in a process of implosion and decay. This book, inspired by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, especially Erich Fromm, offers a unique historical, cultural and characterological analysis of American national character and its underlying psychodynamics. Specifically, this analysis looks at the persistence of Puritan religion, as well as the extolling of male toughness and America's unbridled pursuit of wealth. Finally, its self image of divinely blessed exceptionalism has fostered vast costs in lives and wealth. But these qualities of its national character are now fostering both a decline of its power and a transformation of its underlying social character. This suggests that the result will be a changing social character that enables a more democratic, tolerant and inclusive society, one that will enable socialism, genuine, participatory democracy and a humanist framework of meaning. This book is relevant to understanding America’s past, present and future.

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Pavlina Radia

This book traces the artistic trajectories of Djuna Barnes and Jane Bowles, examining their literary representations of the nomadic ethic pervading the twentieth-century expatriate movements in and out of America. The book argues that these authors contribute to the nomadic aesthetic of American modernism: its pastoral ideographies, (post)colonial ecologies, as well as regional and transcultural varieties. Mapping the pastoral moment in different temporalities and spaces (Barnes representing the 1920s expatriation in Europe while Bowles comments on the 1940s exodus to Mexico and North Africa), this book suggests that Barnes and Bowles counter the critical trend associating American modernity primarily with urban spaces, and instead locate the nomadic thrust of their times in the (post)colonial history of the American frontier.

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Edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes

Radical Planes? 9/11 and Patterns of Continuity, edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes, explores the intersections between narrative disruption and continuity in post-9/11 narratives from an interdisciplinary transnational perspective, foregrounding the transatlantic cultural memory of 9/11. Contesting the earlier notion of a cataclysm that has changed ‘everything,’ and critically reflecting on American exceptionalism, the collection offers an inquiry into what has gone unchanged in terms of pre-9/11, post-9/11, and post-post-9/11 issues and what silences persist. How do literature and performative and visual arts negotiate this precarious balance of a pervasive discourse of change and emerging patterns of political, ideological, and cultural continuity?

Malcolm X

From Political Eschatology to Religious Revolutionary

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Edited by Dustin Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri

In the year 2015 we remembered the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination in Harlem, New York. Spurred by the commitment to continue the critical work that Malcolm X began, the scholars represented in the book have analysed the enduring significance of Malcolm X’s life, work and religious philosophy. Edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri, Malcolm X: From Political Eschatology to Religious Revolutionary, represents an important investigation into the religious and political philosophy of one of the most important African-American and Muslim thinkers of the 20th century. Thirteen different scholars from six different countries and various academic disciplines have contributed to our understanding of why Malcolm X is still important fifty years after his death.

Contributors are: Syed Farid Alatas, Dustin J. Byrd, Bethany Beyyette, Louis A. DeCaro, Stephen C. Ferguson, William David Hart, John H. McClendon, Seyed Javad Miri, John Andrew Morrow, Emin Poljarevic, Rudolf J. Siebert, Nuri Tinaz and Yolanda Van Tilborgh.

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Edited by Precious McKenzie

Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, revisits a classic, twentieth-century American text. Scholars from around the world share their intrepretations and shed new light on Anderson’s contribution to Modernism and his legacy to later writers. They look closely at gender relations, masculinity, place, the nature of community, and the elusive American Dream.

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Edited by Francisco Colom González and Angel Rivero

This volume addresses the political traditions that flourished in regions traditionally neglected by Atlantic history, but which are nevertheless indispensable for a comprehensive interpretation of political modernity. The history of political liberty simply cannot be reconstructed without taking into account the role of the Atlantic as a space for the circulation of ideas. The different chapters trace the origins of the Atlantic notions of liberty in the crisis of the colonial world, in the diverse processes that led to independence from the metropolis, and in the subsequent efforts to build a constitutional order. The book takes an innovative approach by putting together experiences of the English, Portuguese, and Spanish Atlantic and by dealing with political ideas as discursive and socially embedded practices.

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Edited by Jason W. Stevens

This book explores the author’s award-winning novels while also engaging her non-fiction. As the first book devoted entirely to Robinson and to her diverse contributions to literature and scholarship, This Life, This World familiarizes readers with the major currents in her thought and moves scholarly dialogue into new theoretical directions. An interdisciplinary group, the contributors bring to their subject a diversity of perspectives—Romanticism, ecocriticism, medicine and literature, religion and literature, theology, American Studies, critical race theory, and feminist and gender studies—that reflects the amplitude and fecundity of Robinson’s art and thought. The book begins with an annotated timeline and concludes with a substantive written interview with Robinson wherein she reflects on her work and its reception. A tremendous resource for Robinson enthusiasts and for readers interested in the questions she raises in her fiction and non-fiction.

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Christina Cavedon

In Cultural Melancholia: US Trauma Discourses Before and After 9/11, Christina Cavedon frames her examination of 9/11 fiction, especially Jay McInerney’s The Good Life and Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, with a thorough discussion of what US reactions to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 disclose about American culture. Offering a comparative reading of pre- and post-9/11 literary, public, and academic discourses, she deconstructs the still commonly held belief that cultural repercussions of the attacks primarily testify to a cultural trauma in the wake of the collectively witnessed media event. She innovatively re-interprets discourses to be symptomatic of a malaise which had afflicted American culture already prior to 9/11 and can best be approached with melancholia as an analytical concept.

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Edited by Bernd Sommer

Global warming interacts in multiple ways with ecological and social systems in Northern America. While the US and Canada belong to the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, the Arctic north of the continent as well as the Deep South are already affected by a changing climate. In Cultural Dynamics of Climate Change and the Environment in Northern America academics from various fields such as anthropology, art history, educational studies, cultural studies, environmental science, history, political science, and sociology explore society–nature interactions in – culturally as well as ecologically – one of the most diverse regions of the world.
Contributors include: Omer Aijazi, Roland Benedikter, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Eugene Cordero, Martin David, Demetrius Eudell, Michael K. Goodman, Frederic Hanusch, Naotaka Hayashi, Jürgen Heinrichs, Grit Martinez, Antonia Mehnert, Angela G. Mertig, Michael J. Paolisso, Eleonora Rohland, Karin Schürmann, Bernd Sommer, Kenneth M. Sylvester, Anne Marie Todd, Richard Tucker, and Sam White.

The 'American Exceptionalism' of Jay Lovestone and His Comrades, 1929–1940

Dissident Marxism in the United States: Volume 1

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Edited by Paul Le Blanc and Tim Davenport

The first 'American Exceptionalists' belonged to a left-wing current led by Jay Lovestone. Briefly in control of, then dramatically expelled from, the US Communist Party, they maintained an independent existence on the US Left from 1929 to 1940. Some became prominent in the labour and civil rights movements, while Will Herberg became a prominent Jewish theologian and an editor of the conservative National Review, and Bertram Wolfe worked as an anti-Communist ideologist with the US State Department. Lovestone himself collaborated with the CIA to help shape the Cold War foreign policy of the AFL-CIO. Yet earlier documents and articles from the Lovestone group provide rich information and remarkable insights on twentieth-century realities and radicalism.