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Well Read Lives

Author: Barbara Sicherman
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807898246
Size: 63.28 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In a compelling approach structured as theme and variations, Barbara Sicherman offers insightful profiles of a number of accomplished women born in America's Gilded Age who lost--and found--themselves in books, and worked out a new life purpose around them. Some women, like Edith and Alice Hamilton, M. Carey Thomas, and Jane Addams, grew up in households filled with books, while less privileged women found alternative routes to expressive literacy. Jewish immigrants Hilda Satt Polacheck, Rose Cohen, and Mary Antin acquired new identities in the English-language books they found in settlement houses and libraries, while African Americans like Ida B. Wells relied mainly on institutions of their own creation, even as they sought to develop a literature of their own. It is Sicherman's masterful contribution to show that however the skill of reading was acquired, under the right circumstances, adolescent reading was truly transformative in constructing female identity, stirring imaginations, and fostering ambition. With Little Women's Jo March often serving as a youthful model of independence, girls and young women created communities of learning, imagination, and emotional connection around literary activities in ways that helped them imagine, and later attain, public identities. Reading themselves into quest plots and into male as well as female roles, these young women went on to create an unparalleled record of achievement as intellectuals, educators, and social reformers. Sicherman's graceful study reveals the centrality of the era's culture of reading and sheds new light on these women's Progressive-Era careers.

The Afterlife Of Little Women

Author: Beverly Lyon Clark
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421415585
Size: 32.65 MB
Format: PDF
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The hit Broadway show of 1912; the lost film of 1919; Katharine Hepburn, as Jo, sliding down a banister in George Cukor’s 1933 movie; Mark English’s shimmering 1967 illustrations; Jo—this time played by Sutton Foster—belting "I'll be / astonishing" in the 2004 Broadway musical flop: these are only some of the markers of the afterlife of Little Women. Then there’s the nineteenth-century child who wrote, "If you do not... make Laurie marry Beth, I will never read another of your books as long as I live." Not to mention Miss Manners, a Little Women devotee, who announced that the book taught her an important life lesson: "Although it’s very nice to have two clean gloves, it’s even more important to have a little ink on your fingers." In The Afterlife of Little Women, Beverly Lyon Clark, a leading authority on children’s literature, explores these and other after-tremors, both popular and academic, as she maps the reception of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless novel, first published in 1868. Clark divides her discussion into four historical periods. The first covers the novel’s publication and massive popularity in the late nineteenth century. In the second era—the first three decades of the twentieth century—the novel becomes a nostalgic icon of the domesticity of a previous century, while losing status among the literary and scholarly elite. In its mid-century afterlife (1930–1960), Little Women reaches a low in terms of its critical reputation but remains a well-known piece of Americana within popular culture. The book concludes with a long chapter on Little Women’s afterlife from the 1960s to the present—a period in which the reading of the book seems to decline, while scholarly attention expands dramatically and popular echoes continue to proliferate. Drawing on letters and library records as well as reviews, plays, operas, film and television adaptations, spinoff novels, translations, Alcott biographies, and illustrations, Clark demonstrates how the novel resonates with both conservative family values and progressive feminist ones. She grounds her story in criticism of children’s literature, book history, cultural studies, feminist criticism, and adaptation studies. Written in an accessible narrative style, The Afterlife of Little Women speaks to scholars, librarians, and devoted Alcott fans.

Reading Communities From Salons To Cyberspace

Author: DeNel Rehberg Sedo
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230308848
Size: 72.85 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Reading is both a social process and a social formation, as this book illustrates across centuries and cultural contexts. Highlighting links evident in reading communities from literary salons to online environments, each essay reflects the rich repertoire of research methods available to reading scholars.

What Would Jesus Read

Author: Erin A. Smith
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469621339
Size: 11.96 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Since the late nineteenth century, religiously themed books in America have been commercially popular yet scorned by critics. Working at the intersection of literary history, lived religion, and consumer culture, Erin A. Smith considers the largely unexplored world of popular religious books, examining the apparent tension between economic and religious imperatives for authors, publishers, and readers. Smith argues that this literature served as a form of extra-ecclesiastical ministry and credits the popularity and longevity of religious books to their day-to-day usefulness rather than their theological correctness or aesthetic quality. Drawing on publishers' records, letters by readers to authors, promotional materials, and interviews with contemporary religious-reading groups, Smith offers a comprehensive study that finds surprising overlap across the religious spectrum--Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, liberal and conservative. Smith tells the story of how authors, publishers, and readers reconciled these books' dual function as best-selling consumer goods and spiritually edifying literature. What Would Jesus Read? will be of interest to literary and cultural historians, students in the field of print culture, and scholars of religious studies.

Uncle Tom S Cabin And The Reading Revolution

Author: Barbara Hochman
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 155849894X
Size: 31.92 MB
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This work explores a transformation in the cultural meaning of Stowe's influential book by addressing changes in reading practices and a shift in widely shared cultural assumptions. These changes reshaped interpretive conventions and generated new meanings for Stowe's text in the wake of the Civil War.

Wake Up Black Man And Black Woman

Author: Alpha Omega Riddick
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 9781450055406
Size: 15.88 MB
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Black people of America, we need to stop reading books about thug life and street life. We need to read books that will open our minds to ideas and issues that will help us and our families and the future of black generations of this country. Black people of America, we were here before most of the other nationalities that are here now. We should be in a much better financial situation than we are in now. Most of us are at the bottom or near the bottom of the economic scale as a whole. We have to learn from the foreigners that stick together and open up businesses in our community. Plus we have to stop giving our hard-earned money to other nationalities and none to ourselves; in a way, we are still slaves. I wrote this book to inspire Black Americans to open there eyes to the positive changes we need to make to help our families and future black generations in America. This book shows how we are living compared to other nationalities in America, as well as the factors that are holding us back as a whole. We must remember our ancestors and the sacrifices they made when they were slaves. They were the strongest people in the world, and we are their descendants. I feel they were superhuman beings to make that trip from Africa to America. We as black Americans have that same ability in us to survive. Remember, we are the alpha race. We need to wake up and stop hitting the snooze button. May God bless this book and everyone that reads it.