An important and carefully researched book on Poe. . . . Whalen is a remarkably well versed Poe scholar. . . . His elegantly and lucidly written book . . . is sure to crucially influence the future shape of Poe studies. -- Review
The most illuminating full-scale study of Poe to appear in many years, Terence Whalen's Edgar Allan Poe and the Masses
reconstructs the economic determinants of the author's career to establish a compelling new understanding of his works and his place in American literature. Often cast as an otherworldly outsider, Poe emerges here as a representative figure, a shrewd magazinist acutely aware of (and responsive to) developments in American mass culture during the antebellum market revolution. Poe regarded the emerging mass audience as a target of exploitation but also a menace to serious art and personal privacy; Whalen resituates standard texts like The Gold Bug
to show how economic issues suffused Poe's narratives and how worries about the horrid laws of political economy, dogged even his visionary projects. A work of extraordinary originality and resourcefulness, Edgar Allan Poe and the Masses
seems to me an indispensable book destined to set the course for Poe studies in the coming decade.
(J. Gerald Kennedy, author of "Poe, Death, and the Life of Writing"