The Business of America examines the complex linking of business and nationhood in post-war United States literature against the backdrop of changing concepts of the nation in the field of American Studies. The first part of the book examines how white male literary culture has been largely hostile to business during this period and how it has represented transnational shifts in the nature of business as threats to supposedly American values like the individual, the family, or freedom. The book charts the way that such an uneasiness towards business relies upon a discourse about America, business and empire that is increasingly untenable in the post-war world. By way of comparison, The Business of America looks at how literature by women and by writers from different racial, ethnic and sexual groups often deals with business from the more localised angle of work. Graham Thompson shows how this attention to work provides a less abstract and more oppositional approach to the connection between business and America.
Graham Thompson is Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Nottingham. He has published articles on representations of the office and the world of business in the Journal of American Studies, American Literary Realism, and OVERhere: A European Journal of American Culture.
Acknowledgements Introduction Part One. White Male Literary Culture 1. Errands in the Post-War/Cold War Jungle 2. Entropy, Postmodernism and Global Systems 3. Postnational Recovery Narratives and Beyond Part Two. The Difference of Gender, Race and Sexuality 4. Objectivist Fantasies and the Industry of Writing and Piracy 5. Assimilation, Citizenship and Post-Ethnicity 6. Queer Profits and Losses Notes Index