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BIC Excellence Award

American Cultural Critics

Edited by David Murray

American Cultural Critics
Paperback, 304 pages £22.50
Published: 1995
ISBN: 9780859894043
Format: 229mm x 144mm
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Subjects: American Culture, Cultural and Social Studies

This collection of essays assesses the work of a number of American intellectuals, including Susan Sontag, F.O. Mathieson, Daniel Bell and Hannah Arendt, who have addressed issues of culture and its multifaceted relations to politics, history, sociology and literary criticism. Concentrating on writing since 1940, the essays examine the central themes of American postwar intellectual history, including the continuing reaction to (or against) modernity and technology, the legacies of Marxism and psychoanalysis, and the re-examination of American founding principles and figures in conservative or liberal terms.

Contributions by
Richard Bradbury, Clive Bush, Helen Carr, Laurence J. Friedman, Nick Heffernan, Liam Kennedy, Richard H. King, Michael Kreyling, Jerry Z. Muller, David Murray, Ross Posnock, Stephen J. Whitfield, Hugh Wilford and Michael Wood

Introduction, David Murray

1. Southern Literary and Intellectual History in the Twentieth Century: The Agrarians to Richard Weaver, Michael Kreyling

2. The Agony of the Avant-Garde: Philip Rahv and the New York Intellectuals, Hugh Wilford

3. F.O. Mattheissen's "Devotion to the Possibilities of Democracy" and his Place as an American Intellectual, Richard Bradbury

4. Susan Sontag: The Intellectual and Cultural Criticism, Liam Kennedy

5. Stanley Cavell: Must We Believe What We Say?, Michael Wood

6. The Person in Place: Lewis Mumford, Pioneer of Cultural Criticism, Clive Bush

7. Coming of Age in America: Margaret Mead and Karen Horney, Helen Carr

8. Erik H. Erikson's Critical Themes and Voices: The Task of Synthesis, Lawrence J. Friedman

9. Philip Rieff, Jerry Z. Muller

10. Hannah Arendt, Richard H. King

11. Garry Wills, Stephen J. Whitfield

12. Black Intellectuals Past and Present, Ross Posnock

13. Culture at Modernity's End: Daniel Bell and Fredric Jameson, Nick Heffernan


'Each essay exposes stronger connections than one might imagine between the lives and writings of some of America's important critics. What is nice about the entire collection is that each essay spends more time on history and biography than critical analysis.' (Borderlines: Studies in American Culture Vol.4 , No. 1, 1997)

'. . . The book offers a rich harvest of insights (some even refreshingly novel) into the interior of a number of American critical paradigms - some central, some marginal, but all undoubtedly relevant.' (Newsletter of the European Association for American Studies)

David Murray teaches American Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 304 pages
 229mm x 144mm

BIC Code:
  LIT000000, SOC002000, SOC002010
 University of Exeter Press


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