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American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois
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American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois (Hardback)

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American Socialist Triptych focuses on three writers key to the development of American socialism between 1890 and 1940: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Most books on the literature of the American Left have focused on Communist influences during the period of the Great Depression; American Socialist Triptych begins 40 years earlier, showing the evolution of American socialism and how early socialist literary and cultural traditions were sustained into the 1930s when they made social democracy more widely known and highly appealing to certain groups.

American Socialist Triptych shows how socialist theory and practice permeate the work of not only Sinclair (readily recognized as a socialist) but also Gilman and Du Bois, including the feminist and civil rights writing for which they are best known today. Considered together, the three writers highlight the breadth and depth of American socialist movements. Gilman particularly represents both a nascent tradition of American socialist-feminism and the socialist aspects of 1890s Nationalism and Populism. Sinclair was a key player in the rise of the Socialist Party in the 1900s and '10s and in the movement of social democratic policies into mainstream politics during the 1920s and '30s. Du Bois, meanwhile, brings to light the social democratic aspirations of a prominent faction within the NAACP, as well as the conflicted alliances between black activists and left-wing political organizations, including the Communist Party. In narrating the development of American socialism, the argument counterpoints Gilman, Sinclair, and Du Bois with one another, but it also includes substantial discussion of others active in both politics and literature including Edward Bellamy, William Dean Howells, Hamlin Garland, Jack London, Michael Gold, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Claude McKay, and Langston Hughes.

"A valuable rethinking and reframing of the traditions of leftist literary scholarship in the U.S.'

Sylvia Cook, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: from c 1900 -History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical ideologiesSocialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologiesLGBT & Gender StudiesGender studiesGender studies: womenPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsEthnic studiesBlack & Asian studies Publisher: The University of Michigan Press Publication Date: 15/12/2011 ISBN-13: 9780472118052  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Mark W. Van Wienen is Associate Professor of English at Northern Illinois University, USA.

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