Failure and Success in America: A Literary Debate

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Ranging widely over a span of three hundred and fifty years of discussion and controversy, Martha Banta's book makes a fundamental contribution to the continuing debate on the nature of success and failure in a specifically American context. Her Whitmanesque view of the debate takes in the work of innumerable writers, particularly Emerson, Thoreau, Twain, Melville, Henry Adams, William and Henry James, Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, and Norman Mailer. She draws on the work of philosophers, psychologists, and historians as well. ...

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