The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byCarol Nackenoff

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Investigating the persistence and place of the formulas of Horatio Alger in American politics, The Fictional Republic reassesses the Alger story in its Gilded Age context. Carol Nackenoff argues that Alger was a keen observer of the dislocations and economic pitfalls of the rapidlyindustrializing nation, and devised a set of symbols that addressed anxieties about power and identity. As classes were increasingly divided by wealth, life chances, residence space, and culture, Alger maintained that Americans could still belong to one estate. The story of the youth who facesthreats to his virtue, power, independence, and identity stands as an allegory of the American Republic. Nackenoff examines how the Alger formula continued to shape political discourse in Reagan's America and beyond.

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Investigating the persistence and place of the formulas of Horatio Alger in American politics, The Fictional Republic reassesses the Alger story in its Gilded Age context. Carol Nackenoff argues that Alger was a keen observer of the dislocations and economic pitfalls of the rapidlyindustrializing nation, and devised a set of symbols th...

Carol Nackenoff is at Swarthmore College.

other books by Carol Nackenoff

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Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy

Kobo ebook|Oct 1 2010

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:13 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 1.26 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019507923X

ISBN - 13:9780195079234

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"Nackenoff's The Fictional Republic is another step toward recovering who Alger was and what we as Americans have meant in evoking his name."--American Literature