Studies in American Culture was first published in 1960. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The last decade has seen a revolutionary interest at colleges and universities both in this country and abroad in the field known variously as American Studies, American Civilization, or American Culture. Now the time is ripe for a critical look at the field, to assess its intellectual and cultural problems, and to anticipate its future. This is what the contributors to this volume do, through thoughtful discussions and interesting examples of studies in American ideas and images.
There are sixteen contributors, members of the faculties of a number of colleges and universities, and representatives of various specialties such as literary history and criticism; social, intellectual, and aesthetic history; political, economic, and social theory.
In the introductory chapter, Henry Nash Smith discusses the problems of method which confront scholars in American Studies. The chapters which follow contain outstanding examples of scholarship in American Studies. The authors are Reuel Denney, John W. Ward, Mulford Q. Sibley, David R. Weimer, William Van O'Connor, Bernard Bowron, Leo Marx, Arnold Rose, Allen Tate, David W. Noble, J. C. Levenson, Joseph J. Kwiat, Theodore C. Blegen, and Charles H. Foster. In the final chapter, Robert E. Spiller looks at the past, present, and future of American Studies.
All the contributors as well as the editors are now or have been associated with the American Studies program at the University of Minnesota and with the late Tremaine McDowell, chairman of the program for thirteen years and a pioneer in the development of the discipline.
The book will be useful to anyone interested in American thought, culture, and society, to those conducting American Studies programs, and to their students.