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American Protest Literature

American Protest Literature

Edited by Zoe Trodd

ISBN 9780674027633

Publication date: 04/30/2008

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“I like a little rebellion now and then”—so wrote Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, enlisting in a tradition that throughout American history has led writers to rage and reason, prophesy and provoke. This is the first anthology to collect and examine an American literature that holds the nation to its highest ideals, castigating it when it falls short and pointing the way to a better collective future.
American Protest Literature presents sources from eleven protest movements—political, social, and cultural—from the Revolution to abolition to gay rights to antiwar protest. Each section reprints documents from the original phase of the movement as well as evidence of its legacy in later times. Informative headnotes place the selections in historical context and draw connections with other writings within the anthology and beyond. Sources include a wide variety of genres—pamphlets, letters, speeches, sermons, legal documents, poems, short stories, photographs, posters—and a range of voices from prophetic to outraged to sorrowful, from U.S. Presidents to the disenfranchised. Together they provide an enlightening and inspiring survey of this most American form of literature.

Praise

  • In this time of warrantless wiretaps and imprisonment without trial, [this anthology] remind[s] us how hard previous generations of Americans fought to preserve and broaden our civil and human rights… By linking original works to later pieces Trodd underlines the historical roots of American dissent and the ongoing relevance of these writings.

    —Duncan Stewart, Library Journal (starred review)

Authors

  • Zoe Trodd is Professor of American Literature at the University of Nottingham.
  • John Stauffer is Professor of English, of American Studies, and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University. He is the author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Book Details

  • 576 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press
  • Foreword by John Stauffer
  • Afterword by Howard Zinn

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