By Carrie Tirado Bramen

The flip of the final century, amid the excesses of the Gilded Age, type turned a key suggestion for Americans—a signal of nationwide development and improvement, reassurance that the fashionable state wouldn't fall into monotonous dullness or disorderly chaos. Carrie Tirado Bramen pursues this concept in the course of the works of quite a lot of local and cosmopolitan writers, newshounds, theologians, and politicians who rewrote the narrative of yankee exceptionalism via a party of kind. Exploring cultural and institutional spheres starting from intra-urban jogging excursions in well known magazines to the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, she exhibits how the rhetoric of style grew to become naturalized and nationalized as quintessentially American and inherently democratic. through targeting the makes use of of the time period within the paintings of William James, Anna Julia Cooper, W. E. B. Du Bois, Hamlin Garland, and Wong Chin Foo, between many others, Bramen unearths how the perceived innocence and goodness of style have been used to build contradictory and jointly particular visions of contemporary Americanism.

Bramen's innovation is to examine the debates of a century in the past that verified variety because the virtue of U.S. tradition. within the late-nineteenth-century belief, which emphasised the openness of style whereas whilst acknowledging its limits, she unearths an invaluable corrective to the modern tendency to rejoice the U.S. as a postmodern melange or a carnivalesque utopia of hybridity and distinction.

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