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American Hungers:
The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945
Gavin Jones

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"Gavin Jones's American Hungers is a major contribution to the critical debate about literary constructions of poverty in America across epochs; or rather, the book redefines the terms for this debate in such a way that establishes poverty as a valid subject of discussion in its own right, no longer a mere addition to class, race or gender criticism. Even though Jones writes only about five major texts of American literature, the scope of his presentation is impressive, with insights into cultural, economic, ideological, psychological, and ethical complexities. . . . If poverty ever becomes a category capable of creating a distinct tradition of critical analysis, American Hungers will undeniably be one of the fundamental works of this tradition."--Marek Paryz, European Journal of American Studies

"[A] commendable, daring attempt at providing an adequate theoretical framework for a cultural-sociological discourse on pauperism. . . . Jones offers an insightful vision. . . . [T]he book undoubtedly challenges our received views and notions. . . . Engaging and polemical, its topicality cannot be overstated in the context of the current economic scene of a global market marred by recession."--Adriana Neagu, ABC Journal

"American Hungers is a valuable, important, paradigm shifting book that should be read by everyone with an interest in American literature of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially by anyone claiming a critical interest in relations of class and power in American culture."--Carol Loranger, Studies in American Naturalism

"Jones literary 'theory of poverty' must be considered one of the most groundbreaking and at the same time nuanced interventions into theories of class. His theory of poverty as a state of being dialectically shaped by economic, structural and non-material, individual conditions challenges us to recognize representations of poverty in their entire complexity. Implicitly only, he also challenges us to interrogate the complexities of poverty in the real world--and possibly act upon our insights."--Birte Christ, Journal of Literary Theory

"Gavin Jones's provocative two-pronged thesis in American Hungers stands up admirably in both historical and contemporary contexts."--Robert M. Dowling, Modern Philology

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"'Race' and 'class' have circled around each other for the past ten years without yet producing a convincing dialectical synthesis. American Hungers is the most intense, impassioned, and--in sum--important attempt to produce such a synthesis that I know of. While its prose and the general shape of its arguments are crystal clear, it is a demanding book in the best sense, a call to literary and cultural criticism to see things differently."--Mark McGurl, UCLA

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File created: 7/29/2014

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