The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
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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2 A Unitarian Project for Moral Guidance
Character and the Battle for Youth
4 Guidebooks for Survival in an Industrializing Economy
5 Saved From the Factory
6 Technology Organizations Corporations and Capitalists
Authority Power and Politics
Algers Interventions in the Market
9 Levelling and Its Limits
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Alger hero Alger stories Alger to Irving Alger's fiction American political antebellum appeared Athens audience become Beecher Boston capitalist Chapter character cheap claim corporation culture Dean Dunham Democracy democratic dime novels discourse economic elites employer factory formula Forrest Gilded Age Gold Standard Halttunen Harvard Henry Henry Ward Beecher Horatio Alger individual industrial influence Irving Blake labor Lectures to Young literary literature living Loring Luke Walton Mass Mechanic Accents melodrama Michaels moral nature nineteenth century Painted Women Pinkerton poor production Public Libraries published quoted Ragged Dick readers reading Republic Republican Scharnhorst Scharnhorst with Bales serialized social society story papers Street & Smith street boys struggle Student and Schoolmate success T. S. Arthur tastes Thayer theater tramp Unitarian Conscience virtue W. R. Alger wealth Whigs William William Makepeace Thayer William Rounseville Alger working-class writing York youth