The beginnings of critical realism in America : 1860-1920 (Book, 1930) [Hayden Memorial Library @ Citrus College]
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The beginnings of critical realism in America : 1860-1920

Author: Vernon Louis Parrington
Publisher: New York : Harcourt, Brace & World, 1930, 1958.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Vernon Louis Parrington
OCLC Number: 10373110
Description: xxxix, 429 pages ; 21 cm.
Contents: Introduction: The great revolution --
Book I: Changing America --
Part I: The gilded age --
The American scene --
The culture of the seventies: with the decay of aristocratic controls, a loss of unity. Three strands: aristocratic, romantic, frontier --
Changing theory: an agricultural people changing to an urbanized people. The railways hasten economic development --
The beginnings of criticism: the pessimists skeptical of democracy, the optimists calling for reform of the spoils system. No competent critics of industrialism --
Part II: New patterns of thought --
Disintegration and reintegration: two forces creating a new ideology, science and the machine. The decay of the older theological, political mind, and the emergence of an urban mind --
The skepticism of the house of Adams: the flower of the sturdy New England character. They fail to adjust to the Gilded Age --
Victorian realism: in the eighties realism begins to excite interest and the movement gets under way, though the American taste is still romantic. The psychology of the dispersion marking America. Book Two: The old and the new: Storm clouds --
Part I: The middle border rises --
The plight of the farmer --
The democracy of the age of innocence --
Literature and the middle border --
Part II: Proletarian hopes --
[Plutocracy and the workingman: disruption of industry --
strikes and lockouts in the Gilded Age. Bitterness of conflict. The discovery of the injunction] --
[The rise of the left] --
The quest of Utopia --
[The darkening skies of letters: the clouds gathering on the "gay" horizon of American optimism. Changes in the temper of scientific thought point to determinism. A gloomier realism on the way, coming first from the West] --
Part III: The hesitant South --
[Two worlds: the aristocratic clinging to the romance of the past; the plebeian agrarian joining with the middle borner in its protest against plutocracy. Tom A. Watson. The beginnings of industrials that proposed to exploit the cotton and iron of the South] --
[The romance of the past: Thomas Nelson Page and the plantation tradition; Joel Chandler Harris and the romance of the negro; Mary Murfree and the romance of the mountaineer; George Washington Cable and the romance of the creole] --
[Sidney Lanier --
the poet of the South] --
[Henry W. Grady and the surrender to the middle class] --
[The Southern intellectual: James Branch Abell, Ellen Glasgow, W.W. Woodward]. Book Three: The new America --
Part I: The rise of liberalism --
[Movements of liberalism: Three periods: 1790-1912; 1820-1860; 1903-1917. Since 1870 three attitudes towards democracy: (1) It has been achieved but the machine needs closer attention --
civil service reform; (2) It has not been achieved because of the Constitution, but it must be achieved through remodeling political machinery; (3) No intelligent person desires it to be achieved. The movement of liberalism (1903-1917) a great stock-taking venture] --
[Liberalism and the journalists: the muckraking movement] --
[Liberalism and politics: the movement of progressivism] --
Part II: Liberalism and letters --
[Liberalism and the intellectuals: the movement becomes critical] --
[Liberalism and fiction: a shift from liberalism to radicalism --
from politics to economics] --
[Liberalism and realism] --
Part III: Reaction --
[The war and liberalism: the reaction developed a many-sided attack on the liberalisms of the preceding period. The older intellectuals had abandoned French egalitarian democracy, but set as their goal economic democracy; th younger intellectuals attacked the principle of democracy, the ideal of industrialism, the culture of the middle class] --
[The attack on democracy: a return to the eighteenth century spirit of aristocracy. Purveyors of current disgusts] --
[The attack on industrialism: a comprehensive movement that enlists first-class minds --
intellectuals, poets, novelists, dramatists] --
[The attack on the middle class: Sinclair Lewis, Zona Gale; Evelyn Scott] --
[New philosophies] --
[New literary fashions].
Responsibility: Vernon L. Parrington.
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