The Crossroads of American History and Literature

By (author) Philip F. Gura

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 September 1996

Length of book:

300 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271024837

The Crossroads of American History and Literature collects two decades' worth of the best-known essays of Philip F. Gura. Beginning with a definitive overview of studies of colonial literature, Gura ranges through such subjects in colonial American history as the intellectual life of the Connecticut River Valley, Cotton Mather's understanding of political leadership, and the religious upheavals of the Great Awakening. In the nineteenth century, he visits such varied topics as the history of print culture in rural communities, the philological interests of the Transcendentalist Elizabeth Peabody, the craft and business of the early Amerian music trades, and Thoreau's interest in exploration literature and in the Native American. Displaying remarkable sophistication in a variety of fields that, taken together, constitute the heart of American Studies, this collection illustrates the complexity of American cultural history.

Crossroads is a significant book for two reasons: the essays it contains remain a rich repository of high quality scholarship on American literature and cultural history, and it models the rigors and rewards of a prolonged commitment to a set of methodologies and lines of inquiry directed not by academic fashion but by an unflagging desire to pursue the meaning of complex cultural questions.”

American Literature