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By James B. Salazar

From the patricians of the early republic to post-Reconstruction racial scientists, from fin de siècle progressivist social reformers to post-war sociologists, personality, that interestingly formable but both bold “stuff,” has had an extended and checkered heritage giving form to the yankee nationwide identity.

Bodies of Reform reconceives this pivotal type of nineteenth-century literature and tradition through charting the improvement of the concept that of “character” within the fictional genres, social reform routine, and political cultures of the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century. via interpreting novelists corresponding to Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman along a various choice of texts excited by the venture of establishing personality, together with child-rearing publications, muscle-building magazines, libel and naturalization legislation, Scout handbooks, and good fortune manuals, James B. Salazar uncovers how the cultural practices of representing personality operated in tandem with the character-building concepts of social reformers. His cutting edge interpreting of this archive deals a thorough revision of this defining class in U.S. literature and tradition, arguing that personality used to be the keystone of a cultural politics of embodiment, a politics that performed a serious function in determining-and contesting-the social mobility, political authority, and cultural which means of the raced and gendered body.

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Bodies of Reform: The Rhetoric of Character in Gilded Age America (America and the Long 19th Century) by James B. Salazar

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