Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace: New England Crime Literature and the Origins of American Popular Culture, 1674-1860 (Commonwealth Center Studies in American Culture)

Cohen, Daniel A

Published by University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
ISBN 10: 1558495290 / ISBN 13: 9781558495296
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Synopsis: In this innovative study, Daniel A. Cohen explores a major cultural shift embodied in hundreds of early New England crime publications. Tracing the declining authority of Puritan ministers, he shows how the arbiters of an increasingly pluralistic literary marketplace gradually supplanted pious execution sermons with last-speech broadsides, gallows verses, criminal autobiographies, trial reports, newspaper stories, and romantic docudramas. Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace probes the forgotten origins of our modern mass media's preoccupation with crime and punishment.

From the Back Cover: In this innovative study, Cohen demonstrates a major cultural shift from the colonial period to the mid-nineteenth century by exploring the popular literature of crime and punishment. Tracing the declining authority of Puritan ministers and Calvinistic notions of sin, he explores how they were replaced by a romantic, pluralistic literary marketplace where new professionals, lawyers - journalists, and even fiction writers - defined morals and clairified authority. Cohen begins with a comprehensive survey of the entire field of crime literature in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He then focuses on two highly publicized sexual murders of the nineteenth century that illustrate changing attitudes toward crime and changing patterns of popular literature. Recovering a lost culture of legal romanticism, featuring trial reports, romantic biographies, and fictionalized docudramas, Cohen challenges the conventional assumption that there was a growing split between law and literature during the antebellum period. An imaginative use of unpublished court records and a wide array of popular literary sources revealing insights into American society from colonial times to the Civil War, this fascinating book probes the forgotten origins of our own modern mass media's preoccupation with crime and punishment. The first volume in the Commonwealth Center Studies in American Culture series, Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace unites literary analysis with social, cultural, legal, religious, and intellectual history and offers a jargon-free look at vivid case studies that will appeal to scholars and general readers alike.

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Title: Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace: New ...
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication Date: 2006

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this innovative study, Daniel A. Cohen explores a major cultural shift embodied in hundreds of early New England crime publications. Tracing the declining authority of Puritan ministers, he shows how the arbiters of an increasingly pluralistic literary marketplace gradually supplanted pious execution sermons with last-speech broadsides, gallows verses, criminal autobiographies, trial reports, newspaper stories, and romantic docudramas. Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace probes the forgotten origins of our modern mass media s pre-occupation with crime and punishment. Seller Inventory # POW9781558495296

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this innovative study, Daniel A. Cohen explores a major cultural shift embodied in hundreds of early New England crime publications. Tracing the declining authority of Puritan ministers, he shows how the arbiters of an increasingly pluralistic literary marketplace gradually supplanted pious execution sermons with last-speech broadsides, gallows verses, criminal autobiographies, trial reports, newspaper stories, and romantic docudramas. Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace probes the forgotten origins of our modern mass media s pre-occupation with crime and punishment. Seller Inventory # POW9781558495296

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