Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America

Paperback | December 21, 2004

byCathy N. Davidson

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Revolution and the Word is the classic study of the co-emergence of the U.S. nation and the new literary genre of the novel. The book remains the foundational study of reading, writing, and publishing in the new republic and provides a unique glimpse of the culture of early America. By lookingat everything from publishers' account books to marginalia scrawled in eighteenth-century books to the novels themselves, Revolution and the Word provides an engaging social history of early American readership that is also informed by the most insightful aspects of literary theory. With a backward glance at the culture wars and prognostications for what lies ahead, the comprehensive introduction of this expanded edition reframes Revolution and the Word for a new generation of scholars. It revisits topics of dissent in the early national period, the status of the Constitutionas a document designed to quell the still-burning passions of the American Revolution, and the role played by the novel in publicizing and articulating complex desires not addressed at the Constitutional Convention. Cathy N. Davidson provides readers with a survey and critique of the controversialand productive thought in cultural, social, and political theory as it has evolved during the last twenty years. This astute and learned assessment of recent developments in literary and historical scholarship, colonial and postcolonial studies, race theory, gender and sexuality theory, classstudies, cultural studies, and history of the book will make Revolution and the Word as urgent for this generation as it was for its original readers in 1986.

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Revolution and the Word is the classic study of the co-emergence of the U.S. nation and the new literary genre of the novel. The book remains the foundational study of reading, writing, and publishing in the new republic and provides a unique glimpse of the culture of early America. By lookingat everything from publishers' account book...

Cathy N. Davidson is Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Studies and Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University. She is co-founder of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, a past president of the American Studies Association, and a past editor of the journal American Literature.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 5.98 × 9.02 × 1.3 inPublished:December 21, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195148231

ISBN - 13:9780195148237

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Expanded EditionPART ONE1. Introduction: Toward a History of Texts2. The Book in the New Republic3. Ideology and Genre4. Literacy, Education, and the ReaderPART TWO5. Commodity and Communication: The First American Novel6. Privileging the Feme Covert: The Sociology of Sentimental Fiction7. The Picaresque and the Margins of Political Discourse8. Early American Gothic: The Limits of Individualism9. Afterword: Texts as HistoriesNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"An engaging combination of information and analysis, Davidson's book on the production and readers of the early novel will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the novel, of reading, or of American literature."--Library Journal