The Cambridge History of American Literature:, Volume 1; Volumes 1590-1820

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Sacvan Bercovitch
Cambridge University Press, Jan 28, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 846 pages
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The Cambridge History of American Literature addresses the spectrum of new and established directions in American writing. An interdisciplinary distillation of American literary history, it weds the voice of traditional criticism with the diversity of interests that characterize contemporary literary studies. Volume 1 covers the colonial and early national periods, discussing authors ranging from Renaissance explorers to the poets and novelists of the new republic. It should prove an indispensable guide for scholars and students in the fields of English and American literatures and American history.
  

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Contents

IV
13
V
37
VI
59
VII
84
VIII
109
IX
126
XI
149
XII
169
XXVI
390
XXVII
426
XXVIII
470
XXX
496
XXXI
539
XXXII
541
XXXIII
558
XXXIV
573

XIII
171
XIV
183
XV
205
XVI
226
XVIII
255
XX
279
XXI
307
XXII
345
XXIII
347
XXV
368
XXXV
591
XXXVI
620
XXXVII
644
XXXIX
661
XL
676
XLI
695
XLII
767
XLIII
781
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About the author (1997)

Sacvan Bercovitch, who is a professor at Harvard University, is probably the most influential critic in American studies today. Tracing the function of rhetoric in American writing from the Puritans through the nineteenth century, Bercovitch has argued that the persuasiveness of rhetoric is in proportion to its capacity to help people act in history. In his books, Bercovitch has revealed the power of American rhetoric as it creates a myth of America that conflates religious and political issues, transforming even the most despairing and critical energies into affirmations of the American way. Among his major arguments is the idea that the rhetoric of America's colonial sermons and histories, founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, and novels of the American Renaissance, all participate in the project of transforming what he calls dissensus into rituals of consensus.

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