Cover for WHALEN-BRIDGE: Political Fiction and the American Self

Political Fiction and the American Self

Examining political novels that have achieved (or been denied) canonical status, John Whalen-Bridge demonstrates how Herman Melville, Jack London, Norman Mailer, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Margaret Atwood have grappled with the problem of balancing radicalism and art. He shows that some books are more political than others, that some political novelists are more skillful than others, and that readers must allow for basic working distinctions between politics and aesthetics if we are to make useful judgments about which political novels to read, and why.

"Whalen-Bridge demonstrates with clarity and power that the American political novel should not be ostracized but celebrated as a genre equal or superior to poetic and aesthetic ones." -- Tobin Siebers, author of Cold War Criticism and the Politics of Skepticism

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