American Naturalism and the Jews by Donald Pizer
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American Naturalism and the Jews
By Donald Pizer

American Naturalism and the Jews

Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather

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Format: Hardback

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American Naturalism and the Jews by Donald Pizer

Book Description

American Naturalism and the Jews examines the unabashed anti-Semitism of five notable American naturalist novelists otherwise known for their progressive social values. Hamlin Garland, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser all pushed for social improvements for the poor and oppressed, while Edith Wharton and Willa Cather both advanced the public status of women. But they all also expressed strong prejudices against the Jewish race and faith throughout their fiction, essays, letters, and other writings, producing a contradiction in American literary history that has stymied scholars and, until now, gone largely unexamined. In this breakthrough study, Donald Pizer confronts this disconcerting strain of anti-Semitism pervading American letters and culture, illustrating how easily prejudice can coexist with even the most progressive ideals. Pizer shows how these writers' racist impulses represented more than just personal biases, but resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture. Anti-Semitic sentiment motivated such various movements as the western farmers' populist revolt and the East Coast patricians' revulsion against immigration, both of which Pizer discusses here. This antagonism toward Jews and other non-Anglo-Saxon ethnicities intersected not only with these authors' social reform agendas but also with their literary method of representing the overpowering forces of heredity, social or natural environment, and savage instinct.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780252033438
ISBN-10: 0252033434
Format: Hardback
(5830mm x 3895mm x 458mm)
Pages: 112
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publish Date: 18-Jun-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Donald Pizer

Hamlin Garland, Prairie Radical by Donald Pizer Hamlin Garland, Prairie Radical, Hardback (March 2010)

As a self-proclaimed native son of the middle border states of Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, Hamlin Garland wrote short stories, novels, and essays about the harsh realities of farm life. This volume reprints much of Garland's radical fiction and nonfiction from between 1887 and 1894.

Red Badge of Courage by Donald Pizer Red Badge of Courage, Paperback (February 2008)

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Author Biography - Donald Pizer

Donald Pizer is Pierce Butler Professor of English Emeritus at Tulane University. He is the author of The Theory and Practice of American Literary Naturalism, the editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Realism and Naturalism and A Picture and a Criticism of Life: New Letters, Volume I by Theodore Dreiser, and coeditor of Theodore Dreiser: Interviews.

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