American literature is profoundly, almost inescapably political. In this fascinating new anthology of original essays, ten leading scholars explore the ways in which American civic education has been informally advanced through literature. Delving into the works of authors ranging from Mark Twain to William Faulkner to Octavia Butler, these essays reflect on the close relationship between democracy and literature.
Patrick Deneen is the Markos and Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. Joseph Romance is professor of political science at Drew University.
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Art of Democratic Literature Chapter 2 Billy Budd and the Politics of Prudence Chapter 3 Yankee Go Home: Mark Twain's Postcolonial Romance Chapter 4 Tom Sawyer: Potential President Chapter 5 Patriots and Philosophers: The Idea of Obligation and Race in William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust Chapter 6 A Story About Nothing: Two Kinds of Nihilists and One Kind of Christian in Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" Chapter 7 Ralph Ellison's Invisible Men Chapter 8 Go Tell It on the Mountain: James Baldwin and the Politics of Faith Chapter 9 Vexed Genealogy: Octavia Butler and Political Memories of Slavery Chapter 10 "Hello Babies": Eliot Rosewater and the Art of Citizenship in the Graduation Speeches of Kurt Vonnegut Chapter 11 The American Mystery Deepens: Hearing Tocqueville in Don DeLillo's White Noise