By the Sweat of the Brow: Literature and Labor in Antebellum America

By the Sweat of the Brow: Literature and Labor in Antebellum America

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Nicholas K. Bromell

The spread of industrialism, the emergence of professionalism, and the challenge to slavery fueled an anxious debate about the meaning and value of work in antebellum America.In chapters on Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Rebecca Harding Davis, Susan Warner, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglass, Nicholas Bromell argues that American writers generally sensed a deep affinity between the mental labor of writing and such bodily labors as blacksmithing, house building, housework, mothering, and farming. Combining literary and social history, canonical and noncanonical texts, primary source material, and contemporary theory, Bromell establishes work as an important subject of cultural criticism.

ISBN: 9780226075556

288 pages


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