Redefining American Identity: From Cabeza de Vaca to Barack Obama

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Palgrave Macmillan, Mar 15, 2011 - History - 200 pages
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In Redefining American Identity Ben Railton emphasizes, in contrast to both traditional and multicultural narratives, a third possibility for what has been at the core of the American experience since the first moments of contact: cross-cultural transformation, the process by which individuals and groups with relatively fixed cultural identities experience complex shifts across or toward new ones. Railton examines the personal narratives of six individuals who experienced such transformations, each taken from one century of post-contact America, from the explorer Cabeza de Vaca to the poet Gloria E. Anzald˙a to President Barack Obama.

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About the author (2011)

Ben Railton is Assistant Professor of English and the inaugural Coordinator of American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: American Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age, 1876-1893 (2007) and of articles on Margaret Mitchell and William Faulkner, novelist-narrators in American fiction, twenty-first century ethnic American novels, Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, and teaching ethnic American literature.

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