The Latest Early American Literature. By R. C. De Prospo. Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press. 2016. xviii, 381 pp. Cloth, $95.00; e-book, $94.99.
This collection of updated essays pays homage to William Spengemann and Michael Colacurcio by critiquing contemporary criticism of early American literature. Asserting the difficulty of jettisoning the “nationalist telos,” De Prospo points out that even the most critically aware criticism nowadays harbors a “widespread crypto-nationalist ideological foundation.” Building on Colin Dayan’s work on Edgar Allan Poe, De Prospo suggests that “maybe the time has come when Poe can be reclassified . . . as an early American writer who has been misread . . . as a modern one.”
John Pendleton Kennedy: Early American Novelist, Whig Statesman, and Ardent Nationalist. By Andrew R. Black. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press. 2016. x, 343 pp. Cloth, $48.00; e-book, $48.00.
Why did the Whig party collapse so...