In this lively and provocative study, Geoff Ward puts forward the
bold claim that the founding documents of American identity are
essentially literary. America was invented, not discovered, and it
remains in thrall to the myth of an earthly Paradise. This is
ParadiseTM, and American ideology imprisons as it inspires.
"The" "Writing of America "shows the tension between these
forces in a wide range of literary and other texts, from Puritan
sermons and the Declaration of Independence, through
nineteenth-century classics, to folk and blues lyrics and the
popular novel. Alongside his provocative reassessments of canonical
writers, Ward offers new material on lost or neglected figures from
the world of literature, film and music. His acute and often
startling analyses of American literature and culture make this an
essential guide to what Lincoln termed the last best hope of
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