"It [the book] gives contemporary scholars and students a desperately needed sense of place and position from which to view and understand the origins of our dominant literary and intellectual tradition. ...Minter balances a broad and thorough range of works and authors with in-depth, detailed, and persuasive readings of individual texts. ...Minter brings fresh insights to his historical and literary materials through acute critical intelligence, informed historical consciousness, and penchant for developing fascinating juxtapositions and relations." Modernity
"David Minter's book is a model of the way literary history should be done...Minter's elegant writing makes the book a pleasure to read." John T. Irwin, Johns Hopkins University
"...A Cultural History of the American Novel approximates a luminous archaeology of the burgeoning modernist period, uncovering the spectral relations between culture, cultural production, and the socio-political pressures of the times....Given the wide range of such powerful insights and 'cultural readings,' Minter's book will undoubtedly prove valuable not only to scholars of American literary history but also to anyone interested in understanding the all too often invisible connections between cultural production, 'real' people and 'real issues'--such as racism, scientific/technological invention, discovery, ethnicity, borders, responsibility, freedom, World War. hope, assent and democracy." Carlton Smith, American Literature
This book interweaves a wide selection of the novels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with a series of cultural events ranging from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to the "Southern Renaissance" of the 1930s.