cover of book
 

The War on Words: Slavery, Race, and Free Speech in American Literature
by Michael T. Gilmore
University of Chicago Press, 2010
Paper: 978-0-226-10169-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-29413-1 | eISBN: 978-0-226-29415-5
Library of Congress Classification PS217.S55G55 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.93552

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK

How did slavery and race impact American literature in the nineteenth century? In this ambitious book, Michael T. Gilmore argues that they were the carriers of linguistic restriction, and writers from Frederick Douglass to Stephen Crane wrestled with the demands for silence and circumspection that accompanied the antebellum fear of disunion and the postwar reconciliation between the North and South.


Proposing a radical new interpretation of nineteenth-century American literature, The War on Words examines struggles over permissible and impermissible utterance in works ranging from Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” to Henry James’s The Bostonians. Combining historical knowledge with groundbreaking readings of some of the classic texts of the American past, The War on Words places Lincoln’s Cooper Union address in the same constellation as Margaret Fuller’s feminism and Thomas Dixon’s defense of lynching. Arguing that slavery and race exerted coercive pressure on freedom of expression, Gilmore offers here a transformative study that alters our understanding of nineteenth-century literary culture and its fraught engagement with the right to speak.


See other books on: Free Speech | Literary style | Race in literature | Slavery in literature | Words
See other titles from University of Chicago Press

Reference metadata exposed for Zotero via unAPI.