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In a major contribution to American literary culture, Donald E. Pease reassesses the works of a number of major writers of the American Renaissance, including Hawthorne, Whitman, Emerson, Melville, and Poe. He argues that the Revolutionary mythos, used to explain and organize American Renaissance literature for a century, was not used as an organizing principle by these writers. Pease succeeds in showing that the literature of the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s addressed specific concerns about the fate of the nation under the ...

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