Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America: Thoreau, Stowe, and Their Contemporaries Respond…

Hardcover | March 29, 2011

byM. Canada

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After the rise of the penny press in the 1830s, journalism became a target, a counterpoint, and even a model for many American writers. The first book of its kind, Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America explores the sibling rivalry that emerged as Poe, Thoreau, Stowe, and their contemporaries responded to newspapers, defended their own versions of the truth, and crafted “news of their own” in Walden, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and other works. This historical study provides fresh insights into the antebellum era while informing the current debate over stories and truths in the age of blogs, internet news, and reality television. 

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After the rise of the penny press in the 1830s, journalism became a target, a counterpoint, and even a model for many American writers. The first book of its kind, Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America explores the sibling rivalry that emerged as Poe, Thoreau, Stowe, and their contemporaries responded to newspapers, defended ...

Mark Canada is a Professor of English and Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  A former newspaper journalist, he has published essays on the press in the works of Theodore Dreiser and Thomas Wolfe, as well as articles on psychology in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. 

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:214 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.03 inPublished:March 29, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230110940

ISBN - 13:9780230110946

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Table of Contents

PART I: Encounters and Critiques * Common Ground * Critical Readers, Beleaguered Subjects, and Crossover Writers * Literary Critiques of Journalism * PART II: News of Their Own * Dispatches from the Fringe * Truthful Hoaxes * Investigative Fiction * Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

“Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America is a crisp and graceful study of one of the longest playground fights among American writers—the competing claims to ‘truth’ by journalists and by other writers in literary work.  This is ‘sibling rivalry’ Canada argues, because everyone who sought to live by their pen in the nineteenth century shared an encounter with news reporting as well as with belles-lettres . . . We are led directly and skillfully to what Canada has to say at the end:  ‘Great journalists and great authors, after all, agree on two things: stories are great, but the truth is hard.’”—Tom Leonard, Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley“Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America offers a unique perspective on a hitherto-neglected subject of importance: the chief antebellum writers' sharp awareness of and sharper responses to the rise of commercial writing in newspapers that captured so large an audience.  Historians of American literature, print culture, and American Studies will be particularly interested in this book, but it should be found on the shelves of anyone interested in nineteenth-century America generally. Moreover, the author's asides that treat of the vexed state of journalism at this moment add to the volume's significance.”--Philip F. Gura, Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill