In the popular imagination, poverty is a site of negation, of invisibility, of absence. In a neoliberal order whose imagination orbits around the concepts of growth, accumulation, and expansion, at all scalar levels from the individual life to the multinational corporation, to lack property is to risk lacking properties, to become opaque and unnarratable, to attract prefixes like un-, dis-, and in-. Since the late 1960s of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s March and the Johnson Administration’s War on Poverty, and that era’s brief, if intense, national focus on reducing inequality through access to health care, food, housing, and education, poverty has receded from public view with the ebbing of the midcentury “high tide of American liberalism.”1 During this slow retreat, policymakers have engaged in the construction of a thousand little ladders allegedly leading to opportunity and the middle class: poor people should...
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September 1, 2022
Clare Callahan Joseph Entin Irvin Hunt Kinohi Nishikawa
Review Article| September 01 2022
Darkness on the Edge: Revisionary Black Radicalism in the Depression Era
Ragged Revolutionaries: The Lumpenproletariat and African American Marxism in Depression-Era Literature. By Nathaniel Mills.
Univ. of Massachusetts Press.
216pp. Paper, $27.95; e-book available.
Thinking Through Crisis: Depression-Era Black Literature, Theory, and Politics. By James Edward Ford III.
Fordham Univ. Press.
353pp. Cloth, $125.00; paper, $35.00; e-book, $34.99.
Jeff Allred is associate professor of English at Hunter College/CUNY and associate professor of digital humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of American Modernism and Depression Documentary (2010). He has published work on American literature, digital humanities, and literary modernism in American Literature, American Literary History, Criticism, and Transformations, among others.
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American Literature (2022) 94 (3): 573–584.
Jeff Allred; Darkness on the Edge: Revisionary Black Radicalism in the Depression Era. American Literature 1 September 2022; 94 (3): 573–584. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00029831-10084582
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