Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual Culture

Hardcover | October 31, 2013

byRichard Purcell

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After World War II, writers and literary critics – black and white – engaged in heated debates centred on the literary and imaginative problem of representing African-Americans in American literature. As the Cold War unfolded, many of these debates began to appear in journals, conferences and other events, including those directly sponsored by the Congress for Cultural Freedom and other organisations funded by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. Ralph Ellison, who would eventually join the American Congress for Cultural Freedom, was one of the most famous and frequently published critics on the 'Negro Problem' in literature during this period. Using never before published materials from Ralph Ellison's papers at the Library of Congress, Purcell contextualises his thinking on the Negro Problem – in particular its bearing on American literary history, Modernism and broader American geo-politics – within the shadow of the CCF's influence. Therefore, not only does the book explore how the Cold War's ideological battles influenced these debates, it illuminates the important role 'race' and more specifically African-American writers and intellectuals played in the cultural Cold War.

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After World War II, writers and literary critics – black and white – engaged in heated debates centred on the literary and imaginative problem of representing African-Americans in American literature. As the Cold War unfolded, many of these debates began to appear in journals, conferences and other events, including those directly spon...

Richard Purcell is Associate Professor in the Literary and Cultural Studies Program at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. His field of study is twentieth century and twenty-first century American literature, literary criticism and critical theory. He has secondary interests in African-American literature, Film Studies and Cold War Studi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:October 31, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230321437

ISBN - 13:9780230321434

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction: From Popular Fronts to Liberal Conspiracies
1. Figura of a Negro Problem
2. Ellison from the Heart of Europe
3. 1965 and the Battle Over Who Speaks for the Negro
4. An Integrative Vernacular
5. Ellison, Obama and Post-Race Politics in the 21st Century

Notes

Bibliography

Index


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