World War One, American Literature, and the Federal State - pr_32980

World War One, American Literature, and the Federal State

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In this book, Mark Whalan argues that World War One's major impact on US culture was not the experience of combat trauma, but rather the effects of the expanded federal state bequeathed by US mobilization. Writers bristled at the state's new intrusions and coercions, but were also intrigued by its creation of new social ties and political identities. This excitement informed early American modernism, whose literary experiments often engaged the political innovations of the Progressive state at war. Writers such as Wallace Stevens, John Dos Passos, Willa Cather, Zane Grey, and Edith Wharton were fascinated by wartime discussions over the nature of US citizenship, and also crafted new forms of writing that could represent a state now so complex it seemed to defy representation at all. And many looked to ordinary activities transformed by the war - such as sending mail, receiving healthcare, or driving a car - to explore the state's everyday presence in American lives.

Product code: 9781108473835

ISBN 9781108473835
Publisher Cambridge University Press
No. of pages 282
Dimensions H235xW158xS19
Rather than focusing on literary interpretations of trauma or memorialization as the most significant effects of World War One, this book shows an empowered federal state as a significant factor in experimental American culture well before the 1930s. This book is for scholars of American modernism and the literature of World War One.