A Freedom Bought with Blood: African American War Literature from the Civil War to World War II, Volume 1

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ReadHowYouWant.com, 2009 - History - 732 pages
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In the first comprehensive study of African American war literature, Jennifer James analyzes fiction, poetry, autobiography, and histories about the major wars waged before the desegregation of the U.S. military in 1948. Examining literature about the Civil War, the Spanish-American Wars, World War I, and World War II, James introduces a range of rare and understudied texts by writers such as Victor Daly, F. Grant Gilmore, William Gardner Smith, and Susie King Taylor. She argues that works by these as well as canonical writers such as William Wells Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Gwendolyn Brooks mark a distinctive contribution to African American letters. In establishing African American war literature as a long-standing literary genre in its own right, James also considers the ways in which this writing, centered as it is on moments of national crisis, complicated debates about black identity and African Americans' claims to citizenship. In a provocative assessment, James argues that the very ambivalence over the use of violence as a political instrument defines African American war writing and creates a compelling, contradictory body of literature that defies easy summary.
 

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Contents

ILLUSTRATIONS
ii
and the Domestic Narrative
1
FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE Frances Harper Paul
40
NOT MEN ALONE Susie King Taylors Reminiscences
135
IMAGINING MOBILITY TurnoftheCentury Empire 135 My Life in Camp and Masculine SelfFashioning
178
INNOCENCE COMPLICITY CONSENT Black Men White
259
DIASPORA AND DISSENT World War I Claude McKay
342
IF WE COME OUT STANDING UP Gwendolyn Brooks
382
Then We Heard the Thunder and the Military Neoslave
435
NOTES
470
BACK COVER MATERIAL
542
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About the author (2009)

Jennifer C. James is assistant professor of English and Africana studies at George Washington University.

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