Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics in Twentieth-Century America

Paperback | September 25, 2012

byDave Tell

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Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics in Twentieth-Century America revolutionizes how we think about confession and its ubiquitous place in American culture. It argues that the sheer act of labeling a text a confession has become one of the most powerful, and most overlooked, forms of intervening in American cultural politics. In the twentieth century alone, the genre of confession has profoundly shaped (and been shaped by) six of America’s most intractable cultural issues: sexuality, class, race, violence, religion, and democracy.

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Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics in Twentieth-Century America revolutionizes how we think about confession and its ubiquitous place in American culture. It argues that the sheer act of labeling a text a confession has become one of the most powerful, and most overlooked, forms of intervening in American cultural politics. In t...

Dave Tell is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.57 inPublished:September 25, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271056290

ISBN - 13:9780271056296

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Confessional Crises and Cultural Politics

1 Confession and Sexuality: True Story Versus Anthony Comstock

2 Confession and Class: A New True Story

3 Confession and Race: Civil Rights, Segregation, and the Murder of Emmett Till

4 Confession and Violence: William Styron’s Nat Turner

5 Confession and Religion: Jimmy Swaggart’s Secular Confession

6 Confession and Democracy: Clinton, Starr, and the Witch-Hunt Tradition of American Confession

Conclusion: James Frey and Twenty-First-Century Confessional Culture

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Dave Tell is an excellent writer and thinker, incorporating provocative archival research and good storytelling, and his Confessional Crises is a welcome addition to any ongoing discussion of genre, confession, and cultural politics.”

—Daniel Patrick Overton, Southern Communication Journal