The Fictional Republic : Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Mar 15, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 13 pages
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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 rapidly industrializing 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 faces threats 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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Contents

Allegory of the Republic On Interpretation and Method
3
A Unitarian Project for Moral Guidance
12
Republican Rites of Passage Character and the Battle for Youth
33
Guidebooks for Survival in an Industrializing Economy
53
Saved from the Factory
78
Technology Organizations Corporations and Capitalists
93
Natural Aristocracy in a Democracy Authority Power and Politics
110
Money Price and Value Algers Interventions in the Market
133
Reading Alger Searching for Algers Audience in the Literary Marketplace
181
The Mass Fiction Writer As Producer and Consumer Power Powerlessness and Gender
206
Culture Wars
227
The Fictional Republic Algers Appeal to the American Political Imagination
261
Notes
272
References
336
Name Index
354
Subject Index
357

Levelling and Its Limits
162

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