William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic

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9780679773009: William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic

William Cooper and James Fenimore Cooper, a father and son who embodied the contradictions that divided America in the early years of the Republic, are brought to life in this Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
 
William Cooper rose from humble origins to become a wealthy land speculator and U.S. congressman in what had until lately been the wilderness of upstate New York, but his high-handed style of governing resulted in his fall from power and political disgrace.  His son James Fenimore Cooper became one of this country’s first popular novelists with a book, The Pioneers, that tried to come to terms with his father’s failure and imaginatively reclaim the estate he had lost.
 
In William Cooper’s Town, Alan Taylor dramatizes the class between gentility and democracy that was one of the principal consequences of the American Revolution, a struggle that was waged both at the polls and on the pages of our national literature.  Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social reforms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier.

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In 1786 William Cooper, determined to become a self-made gentleman of substance in post-revolutionary America, founded Cooperstown, N.Y., through a dodgy land deal. His town rose to become county seat, and Cooper became a judge and then a congressman. He lost most of the prestige he earned later, when he overstretched himself, and his local patronage weakened when he backed the Federalists against the victorious Republicans. Nonetheless, his son, James Fenimore Cooper, the early 19th century's best-selling novelist, wrote essentially a justification of his father in his third novel, The Pioneers (1823). Taylor's book--a combination of biography, personal history, social history, literary exegesis and analysis of father-son dynamics--charts the interplay between the fact and the fiction of the days when upstate New York was the frontier. William Cooper's Town won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for history.

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"Marvelous....Taylor's intellectual grasp never fails."--The New Yorker

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this story of a frontier village in the early American Republic, Alan Taylor explores the lives of Judge William Cooper and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper - father and son. As frontier speculator, landlord, and politician, the father played a leading role in the conquest, resettlement, and environmental transformation of the early nation. Drawing upon his childhood memories of the New York frontier, the son created the historical fictions that made him the most popular, influential, and controversial American novelist of the early nineteenth century. Taylor makes it clear that in a rapidly changing nation William Cooper s development of Cooperstown and his son s creation of the village of Templeton in The Pioneers were different stages of a common effort, over two generations, to create, sustain, and justify a wealthy and powerful estate. Both sought that unity of social, economic, political, and cultural authority idealized in colonial America but at odds with the legacy of the American Revolution. William Cooper s Town combines biography, social history, and literary analysis. By breaching the barriers that separate political, social, and literary history, Taylor reveals the interplay of frontier settlement and narrative-making in the early American Republic. He examines how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new property, new power, and new stories along their extensive frontier. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679773009

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this story of a frontier village in the early American Republic, Alan Taylor explores the lives of Judge William Cooper and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper - father and son. As frontier speculator, landlord, and politician, the father played a leading role in the conquest, resettlement, and environmental transformation of the early nation. Drawing upon his childhood memories of the New York frontier, the son created the historical fictions that made him the most popular, influential, and controversial American novelist of the early nineteenth century. Taylor makes it clear that in a rapidly changing nation William Cooper s development of Cooperstown and his son s creation of the village of Templeton in The Pioneers were different stages of a common effort, over two generations, to create, sustain, and justify a wealthy and powerful estate. Both sought that unity of social, economic, political, and cultural authority idealized in colonial America but at odds with the legacy of the American Revolution. William Cooper s Town combines biography, social history, and literary analysis. By breaching the barriers that separate political, social, and literary history, Taylor reveals the interplay of frontier settlement and narrative-making in the early American Republic. He examines how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new property, new power, and new stories along their extensive frontier. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679773009

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this story of a frontier village in the early American Republic, Alan Taylor explores the lives of Judge William Cooper and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper - father and son. As frontier speculator, landlord, and politician, the father played a leading role in the conquest, resettlement, and environmental transformation of the early nation. Drawing upon his childhood memories of the New York frontier, the son created the historical fictions that made him the most popular, influential, and controversial American novelist of the early nineteenth century. Taylor makes it clear that in a rapidly changing nation William Cooper s development of Cooperstown and his son s creation of the village of Templeton in The Pioneers were different stages of a common effort, over two generations, to create, sustain, and justify a wealthy and powerful estate. Both sought that unity of social, economic, political, and cultural authority idealized in colonial America but at odds with the legacy of the American Revolution. William Cooper s Town combines biography, social history, and literary analysis. By breaching the barriers that separate political, social, and literary history, Taylor reveals the interplay of frontier settlement and narrative-making in the early American Republic. He examines how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new property, new power, and new stories along their extensive frontier. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780679773009

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