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American Childhood: Essays on Children's Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

MacLeod, Anne Scott

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ISBN 10: 0820315516 / ISBN 13: 9780820315515
Published by Univ of Georgia Pr
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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0820315516 American first edition, first printing. Contains number line 1 2 3 4 5. Virtually no wear to jacket. Jacket is unpriced. Jacket is in a Mylar cover. Covers are clean and bright. Edges are sharp. No tears or creases. The book itself is in Near Fine condition. The binding is straight and tight. No remainder mark. All our inventory is marked down 40% until the end of December 2018. Discount is already applied. Start stocking up for Christmas now!!. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1014047

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Bibliographic Details

Title: American Childhood: Essays on Children's ...

Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


A collection of essays examining how the portrayal of childhood has evolved over the past two centuries in children's novels

From the Back Cover:

In this collection of fourteen essays, Anne Scott MacLeod locates and describes shifts in the American concept of childhood as those changes are suggested in nearly two centuries of children's stories. A social historian and literary critic of genuine insight, MacLeod has helped to pioneer an approach to American culture through the children's literature that arises from it: "When I read books written for children", MacLeod comments in her preface, "I look for author's views, certainly, but I also try to discover what the culture is saying about itself, about the present and the future, and about the nature and purposes of childhood....Children's books don't mirror their culture, but they do always, no matter how indirectly, convey some of its central truths". Most of the essays concern domestic novels for children - stories set more or less in the time of their publication and meant for adolescent and teen readers. Some essays also draw creatively on childhood memoirs, travel writings that contain foreigners' observations of American children, and other studies of children's literature. MacLeod looks beyond the books to their unwritten subtexts - to the interplay between writers' adherence to conventions, their own memories of youth, and their adult concerns. She probes as well the tension between the literal, superficial images and themes of the stories and the realities of the surrounding culture. Beading across historical periods, MacLeod traces changes in our attitudes toward children and shows how they have paralleled or departed from the characteristic tone of each era. The topics on which she writes range from the recently politicized marketplace for children's books to thereestablishment (and reconfiguration) of the family in the latest children's fiction to the ways that literature challenges or enforces the idealization of children. MacLeod sometimes considers a single author's canon, as when she discusses the feminism of the Nancy Drew mystery series or the Orwellian vision of Robert Cormier. At other times, she looks at a variety of works within a particular period, for example, Jacksonian America, the post-World War II decade, or the 1970s. MacLeod examines anew books that she feels have been too quickly dismissed - the Horatio Alger stories, for example - and finds fresh, intriguing ways to view the work of such well-known writers as Louisa May Alcott, Beverly Cleary, and Paul Zindel. Five of the essays in American Childhood have never before been published; four of the remaining essays have been substantially revised and expanded since they first appeared. All are a testament to the revelatory powers of children's literature and to our deep emotional investment in young people.

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