Cover: Melville’s <i>Israel Potter</i>: Reflections on the American Dream, from Harvard University PressCover: Melville’s <i>Israel Potter</i> in PAPERBACK

LeBaron Russell Briggs Prize Honors Essays in English 1969

Melville’s Israel Potter

Reflections on the American Dream

Currently unavailable

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$2.70 • £2.95 • €2.50

ISBN 9780674564756

Publication Date: 01/01/1969

Short

Alexander Keyssar’s study focuses on Melville’s treatment of the social and existential condition of the American common man—his inability to realize the happiness promised by the American dream and the impurity of democracy in a society with marked economic classes. The author discusses the literary coherence—thematic rather than narrative—of Melville’s work as illustrated by Israel Potter and as representative of the novelist’s writing during the 1853–1856 period. He includes a brief analysis of Melville’s conception of literary “truth” and a discussion of the peculiar role of comedy in the sad story of Israel Potter. Melville’s insights into the political and social flaws of America “contain remarkable relevance for the contemporary reader.”

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: A Brief History of Equality, by Thomas Piketty, from Harvard University Press

Five Reasons Why You Should Read Thomas Piketty’s A Brief History of Equality

In his surprising and powerful new work, A Brief History of Equality, Thomas Piketty reminds us that the grand sweep of history gives us reasons to be optimistic. Over the centuries, he shows, we have been moving toward greater equality. We asked him about his impassioned new book: why he wrote it, how it’s optimistic, and what we need to do to continue making progress on creating an equitable world.