Henry James on Culture: Collected Essays on Politics and the American Social Scene

Front Cover
U of Nebraska Press, 1999 - Literary Collections - 226 pages
The eighteen essays in this collection show Henry James (1843?1916) in a new and unexpected light?as a political commentator and social reformer. His acute powers of observation, his unerring feel for social nuance, and his abiding interest in the news, conversations, and controversies of the moment make these essays a witty and entertaining illumination of American, British, European, and colonial society in the years from 1878 to 1917. Included are writings on British politics and diplomacy, on the language and manners of Americans, on the possibility of an afterlife, and on the heroism and human costs of the First World War. Among the subjects that interest James are France?s infatuation with the Prince of Wales, the trumped-up excuses for war in Afghanistan, the brutal frankness of Bismarck, the parliamentary games of Gladstone and Disraeli, the rise of Zulu power in South Africa, the use of ?yeah? and ?yup? for the American affirmative, the fearlessness of American women and their immunity from criticism, the effect of chewing gum on the discussion of opera, the sufferings of Americans at the hands of store clerks, the proper degrees of gratitude for roadside bicycle repairs, the work of the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps, the use of the dash, the tyranny of the newspapers, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the conditions in military hospitals.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Acknowledgments
vii
The British Soldier
3
The Afghan Difficulty
14
The Early Meeting of Parliament
22
Henry James in the Serene Sixties
35
The Question of Our Speech
42
The Speech of American Women
58
The Manners of American Women
82
Is There a Life After Death?
115
Henry Jamess First Interview
138
France
146
Allen D LoneyIn Memoriam
159
The Long Wards
169
Within the Rim
177
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Pierre A. Walker is a professor of English at Salem State College and co-general editor of The Complete Letters of Henry James, to be published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Bibliographic information