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Reading America

Citizenship, Democracy, and Cold War Literature

Kristin L. Matthews (author)

ISBN: 9781625342348

Publication Date: Nov 2016

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Explores a range of political, educational, popular, and touchstone literary texts to demonstrate how Americans from across the political spectrum - including “great works” proponents, New Critics, civil rights leaders, postmodern theorists, neoconservatives, and multiculturalists - celebrated particular texts and advocated particular interpretive methods as they worked to make their vision of “America” a reality.
£82.50

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During the Cold War, the editor of Time magazine declared, "A good citizen is a good reader." As postwar euphoria faded, a wide variety of Americans turned to reading to understand their place in the changing world. Yet, what did it mean to be a good reader? And how did reading make you a good citizen?

In Reading America, Kristin L. Matthews puts into conversation a range of political, educational, popular, and touchstone literary texts to demonstrate how Americans from across the political spectrum - including "great works" proponents, New Critics, civil rights leaders, postmodern theorists, neoconservatives, and multiculturalists - celebrated particular texts and advocated particular interpretive methods as they worked to make their vision of "America" a reality. She situates the fiction of J. D. Salinger, Ralph Ellison, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, and Maxine Hong Kingston within these debates, illustrating how Cold War literature was not just an object of but also a vested participant in postwar efforts to define good reading and citizenship.

Illustrations 8 colour illustrations
Pages 288
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Nov 2016
Publisher University of Massachusetts Press
Series Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Subject/s Literature & literary studies   Literary studies: general   Cultural studies   Literary companions   The Cold War   Sociology: birth  
Kristin L. Matthews is associate professor of English and coordinator of the American Studies Program at Brigham Young University.

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