After Franklin: The Emergence of Autobiography in Post-revolutionary America, 1780-1830

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University Press of New England, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 241 pages
Although much has been written about Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, other writers of what Stephen Arch calls “self-biographies” in post-revolutionary America have received scant scholarly attention. This rich variety of texts dramatically shows the complex nature of 19th-century concepts of identity. Arguing that “autobiography” is a modern invention, Arch shows its emergence in the older, conservative self-biographies of Alexander Graydon, Benjamin Rush, and Ethan Allen and in the newer, more progressive, and even radical self-biographies of K. White, Elizabeth Fisher, Stephen Burroughs, and John Fitch. Describing the evolution of a concept as elastic as “the self” is not easy, but Arch offers a unique and imaginative study of the emergence of a specifically modern American identity.

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After Franklin: the emergence of autobiography in post-revolutionary America, 1780-1830

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Arch's (Authorizing the Past; English, Michigan State Univ.) well-supported thesis is that before the 1810s in North America, people who wrote about themselves, Benjamin Franklin for example, were not ... Read full review

After Franklin: the emergence of autobiography in post-revolutionary America, 1780-1830

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Arch's (Authorizing the Past; English, Michigan State Univ.) well-supported thesis is that before the 1810s in North America, people who wrote about themselves, Benjamin Franklin for example, were not ... Read full review

Contents

Travels through Life
74
Ethan Allen and the Republican Self
93
The Emergence of Autobiography
113
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

STEPHEN CARL ARCH, Associate Professor of English at Michigan State University, is author of Authorizing the Past: The Rhetoric of History in Seventeenth-Century New England.

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