By Simon J. Bronner
This energetic reader strains the hunt for American culture and nationwide identification via folklore and folklife from the nineteenth century to the current. via a fascinating set of essays, Folk Nation exhibits how American thinkers and leaders have used folklore to specific the that means in their nation. Simon Bronner has conscientiously chosen statements through public intellectuals and renowned writers in addition to by way of students, all selected for his or her clarity and value as provocative texts in the course of their time. the typical thread working all through is the price of folklore in expressing or denying an American nationwide tradition.
This textual content increases well timed concerns in regards to the personality of yankee tradition and the course of yank society. The essays convey the advance of perspectives of yank nationalism, multiculturalism, and commercialism. Provocative issues contain debates over the connection among pop culture and people tradition, the individuality of an American literature and humanities according to people assets, the fabrication of folks heroes corresponding to Pecos invoice and Paul Bunyan as propaganda for patriotism and nationalism, the romanticizations of vernacular tradition by way of popularizers reminiscent of Walt Disney and Ben Botkin, using folklore for ethnocentric reasons, and the political deployment of folklore via conservatives as logos of "traditional values" and civil virtues and by means of liberals as logos of multiculturalism and tolerance of different life.
The e-book additionally lines the debate over who conveyed the parable of "America." was once it the nation's poets and artists, its teachers, its politicians and leaders, its groups and native academic associations, its subject matter parks and fairs, its motion picture moguls and entertainers? Folk Nation exhibits how the method of defining the yankee mystique via folklore used to be on the center of debates between writers and thinkers concerning the worth of Davey Crockett, John Henry, quilts, cowboys, and immigrants as symbols of the US.