Gothic Perspectives on the American Experience

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P. Lang, 2003 - History - 197 pages
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From the founding of the United States to the present day, America's conception of itself as a functional democracy has been clouded by a dark suspicion of subversion, conspiracy, and failure. <I>Gothic Perspectives on the American Experience explores this dark side of America's past, from the era of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Brockden Brown to that of John F. Kennedy and Oliver Stone. Drawing upon insights garnered from history, literature, pulp fiction, and film, it probes as yet unresolved divisions between adherents of the authentic American dream - which is based in faith in civilized dialogue within an open political process - and an alternative conception of America based in commercialism, covert politics, and faith in the effectiveness of armed might. This book examines the tensions between democratic idealism and covert fascism in the American experience, the Gothic dilemmas those tensions have provoked, and the contributions made by some of America's preeminent authors, politicians, historians, and filmmakers toward reforming an increasingly dystopian society along the utopian lines envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

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Contents

Narratives of Subversion
25
NineteenthCentury Political Gothic
55
Pulp Culture and American Politics
95
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

The Author: Gregory G. Pepetone is currently a resident artist in piano performance and a tenured professor in the Department of Music and Theatre at Georgia College and State University, where he was formerly the coordinator of interdisciplinary studies. He teaches courses in music history, applied studies, and interdisciplinary studies. His scholarly articles on Gothic arts and American culture have won two national awards.

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