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American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African American and Native American Literatures 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195332919
ISBN-10: 0195332911
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"In American Lazarus Joanna Brooks applies a new and highly effective paradigm to the emergence of African American and Native American voices in eighteenth-century British America. As she explores the confluence of evangelical religion and revolutionary ideology that gave rise to such writes as Samson Occom, John Marrant, and Prince Hall, Brooks reinvigorates a long tradition of American Studies scholarship. Well-written and learned, American Lazarus should find a wide audience." --Philip F. Gura, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


"IAmerican Lazarus is a stunning resurrection of a buried chapter of American literary history and the redemption of a host of misread, ignored, and undervalued African American and Native American literary artists whose works have long awaited the interpretive powers and methods of Joanna Brooks. This book transforms our reading of American religion, race, history, and literature by reformulating our assumptions about the literary culture of the early Republic. Brooks demonstrates how black and Indian authors used the dominant religion and language to construct the terms and reality of their own survival, redemption, and regeneration. Brooks's revealing, heroic narrative will change how we think about the formation of the nation." --Emory Elliott, University of California, Riverside


"Offers...accounts of fascinating moments in American cultural history that remind us of the involvement of people of color in the creation of our religious heritage. Brooks succeeds in celebrating the heroic struggles and bold texts of eighteenth-century African Americans and Christianized Native Americans as they critiqued the dominant culuture and sustained their own communities." --Christianity & Literature


"American Lazarus launches an important and powerful refiguring of early American literature--a refiguring made possible by contemporary theories of race and colonization, but one governed nevertheless by Brooks's insistence on reading African American and Native American writers of the eighteenth century with rigorous attention to the religious and political contexts that produced them." --Eric J. Sundquist, University of California, Los Angeles


"American Lazarus is a model of imaginative and rigorous interdisciplinary research." --Early American Literature


"A groundbreaking and illuminating book.... Brooks's originality, clarity, and scholarship in American Lazarus are noteworthy. The textual analyses are thorough and meticulous."--The North Star


"Brook's erudite and detailed analysis of the historical context makes American Lazarus an excellent work for students in the social sciences and humanities, as well as for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of the malleability of racial and ethnic identity."--Journal of African American History


About the Author


Joanna Brooks is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195332911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195332919
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on July 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My minister mentioned this book in a recent sermon. As a Christian living in the 21st Century, I realize that there is so much that I can take for granted. The trials and tribulations and triumphs that people like Samson Occom and John Marrant went through were inspiring to say the least. I had no idea that one of America's first hymnals was compiled by a Native American, nor did I discover until reading this book how much American Christianity is so entwined in Black and Indian struggles. I learned so much from this book. I'm not a reader of literature, but now I want to find out more about these people. I can say that it's made me a better Christian. I'm so grateful to these American saints. Thank you, Joanna Brooks, for opening my eyes.
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Format: Hardcover
American Lazarus is the story of how African American and Native American writers forged new tools to re-create their identities. In spite of slavery and subjugation, men like Samson Occom, John Marrant, Richard Allen, and Prince Hall endeavored to raise their people from civic death. This book is powerful. It is beautifully written; it sheds new light on traditions of resistance in American letters; and it shows that the theme of Lazarus (the biblical story where Jesus raises his friend from the dead) was an overarching conception for peoples of color just as the Exodus story was. Incredible history; amazing literary analysis. American Lazarus is a triumph.
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Format: Hardcover
With AMERICAN LAZARUS, Brooks recovers, or might I say, revives either long-forgotten or oft-misunderstood religious writings by eighteenth-century African Americans and Native Americans. And the story she tells through their works is as relevant in the 21st century as it was during theirs: God takes sides, and God's side is with the poor, the enslaved, the colonized. And these writers, like Brooks, ask: which side are you on? AMERICAN LAZARUS shows us the debt we owe to these innovative ancestors of color--politically, culturally, spiritually. And for that, we are indebted to Brooks as well.
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