Examination of Political Pessimism in the Works of American Novelist Harold Frederic, 1856-1898

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A reading of Frederic's major novels against the cultural and political history of the 1880s and 1890s reveals his skepticism regarding the popular analysis of the West as a democratic frontier and his challenge t the popular-progressives' celebration of grassroots democracy and agrarian America. Pessimism controls Frederic's portrayal of his politicians, his critical treatment of their rhetorical and manipulative devices and their platforms, and his assessment of the people who elect the politicians. This study examines the major works and rescues him from being classified as a comic realist for a political optimist.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Foreword, Preface

1.Harold Frederic: Political Pessimist?

2.Seth's Brother's Wife: The Triumph of the Political Machine

3.In the Valley: America's Political Foundation

4.The Lawton Girl: the Onslaught of the Corporation

5.The Damnation of Theron Ware: A Dial of the Frontier Myth

6.The Market-Place: The Culmination of Frederic's Political Pessimism

7.A Final Comment

Bibliography, Index

Other Literature - American Books