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Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America

by Joan Burbick

Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America Synopsis

In this study Joan Burbick interprets nineteenth-century narratives of health written by physicians, social reformers, lay healers and literary artists in order to expose the conflicts underlying the creation of a national culture in America. These 'fictions' of health include annual reports of mental asylums, home-physician manuals, social reform books and novels consumed by the middle class that functioned as cautionary tales of well-being. Read together these writings engage in a counterpoint of voices at once constructing and debating the hegemonic values of the emerging American nation. In studying these narratives of health, Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America confronts what Burbick sees as a certain fundamental uneasiness about democracy in America. Fearing the political freedom they hoped to embrace, Americans designed ways to control the body in the effort to create, impose or embrace social order in a corporeal politics whose influences are felt to this day.

Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America Press Reviews

...Burbick has taken on a huge project and has opened up the interrelated histories of medicine, politics, and literature in important new ways. Tom Lutz, American Literature ...readings of an amazingly diverse array of nineteenth-century prose and poetry, ranging from the well known (Walden, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Moby-Dick) to the little known (Domestic Medicine, by the physician John C. Gunn). These readings are imaginative and frequently arresting. Cynthia Russett, Isis

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521454346
Publication date: 26th August 1994
Author: Joan Burbick
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 368 pages
Categories: Literary studies: from c 1900 -,

About Joan Burbick

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