"I like a little rebellion now and then"--so wrote Thomas Jefferson
to Abigail Adams, enlisting in a tradition that throughout American
history has led writers to rage and reason, prophesy and provoke.
This is the first anthology to collect and examine an American
literature that holds the nation to its highest ideals, castigating
it when it falls short and pointing the way to a better collective
"American Protest Literature" presents sources from eleven
protest movements--political, social, and cultural--from the
Revolution to abolition to gay rights to antiwar protest. Each
section reprints documents from the original phase of the movement
as well as evidence of its legacy in later times. Informative
headnotes place the selections in historical context and draw
connections with other writings within the anthology and beyond.
Sources include a wide variety of genres--pamphlets, letters,
speeches, sermons, legal documents, poems, short stories,
photographs, posters--and a range of voices from prophetic to
outraged to sorrowful, from U.S. Presidents to the disenfranchised.
Together they provide an enlightening and inspiring survey of this
most American form of literature.
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