Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850-1877 by Linda FrostNever One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850-1877 by Linda Frost

Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850-1877

byLinda Frost

Paperback | May 1, 2005

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In Never One Nation, Linda Frost argues that during the eventful decades surrounding the Civil War, American identity was constructed not only nationally but also locally. Depictions of race, class, and sexuality seen in P. T. Barnum's museums, in the image of the Circassian Beauty, and in popular periodicals like Harper's Weekly, the Southern Illustrated News, and the San Francisco Golden Era further illustrated who was - and who was not - an American. Local coverage of Native Americans and Chinese in the West, African Americans and recent Irish immigrants in New York, and slaves and Yankees in the South played a major role in conflating Americanness with whiteness. These ideas were shaped by reactions to events such as the 1863 Draft Riots and the Dakota uprising in Minnesota in 1862, and laid bare through the demonization of Northern whites in Confederate newspapers and anxieties expressed in California newspapers about the possibility of Chinese immigrants gaining U.S. citizenship. Through close readings of specific articles published in regional periodicals, mostly unexamined by literary scholars, Frost shows how Americanness came to be defined in the mid-nineteenth century by the mainstream popular culture. The era's many social upheavals - Emancipation, Reconstruction, the start of the Indian wars in the West, immigration, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad - sharpened the desire of Americans to feel part of a national community, even as they made this search for an American identity extremely contentious and necessarily fragmented. Never One Nation provocatively reframes the discourse on racial formation and reveals how local cultures and prejudices can recast the identity of a nation.
Linda Frost is associate professor of English at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
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Title:Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850-1877Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9 × 5.88 × 0.6 inPublished:May 1, 2005Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:081664490X

ISBN - 13:9780816644902

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Table of Contents

Contents Introduction: Blinding Whiteness and "The Wonder of America" 1. Roving Savages, Regionalized Americanness, and the 1862 Dakota Wars 2. Emancipation Anxiety and the New York City Draft Riots 3. The White Gaze and the Spectacle of Slavery 4. A Peculiar Identity in the Confederate Southern Illustrated News 5. The Yankee, the Stump, and the Creation of a Confederate Imaginary 6. What the Railroad Brought: The Heathen Chinee and a Nation in the West 7. The Woman Question, Coast to Coast Conclusion: Consumption, Community, and the Correspondence Column Notes Index