"The Empire Abroad and the Empire at Home is a major achievement, a striking contribution to our understanding of African American literary and political history. Gruesser demonstrates authoritatively that literature is not simply a revealing supplement to the down-and-dirty history of empire and race but rather the major means by which that history emerged and took its tangled shape. Along the way, he reminds us that we have barely begun to piece together a just understanding of early-twentieth-century African American writing. Our debt to Gruesser’s painstaking research will, I predict, be great."—John Ernest, author of Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History
"Looking at late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American writers’ responses to U.S. imperialist expansion abroad, Gruesser expands our understanding of African American literature of the period and also of U.S. history, showing that African American commitment to antiracism did not stop at the nation’s borders. An important book for scholars and general readers alike."—Elizabeth Ammons, author of Brave New Words: How Literature Will Save the Planet
"The Empire Abroad and the Empire at Home provides a fascinating and entirely original account of the African American response to the nation’s turn-of-the-century imperial adventures. Professor Gruesser adds a welcome new perspective to the study of American empire and reveals a dimension of black writing that has gone largely unnoticed by scholars."—Eric J. Sundquist, author of King's Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" Speech
“Through close, carefully crafted readings of the responses of African American writers to the Spanish-Cuban American War, the Philippine-American War, and US intervention in the Pacific, Central America, and Latin America, [Gruesser] offers an absorbing portrait of the wide-ranging, sometimes ambivalent, sometimes contradictory responses to these events. . . . This is a work that should attract the attention of many in the field.”—J. A. Miller, Choice
“[Gruesser] has produced [a] short, engaging text designed for upper-level under-graduates, graduates, and specialists interested in the vectors of rhetoric, race, and empire explored. . . ”—Glenn Reynolds, Journal of American History
“The Empire Abroad is ultimately a very important and in fact necessary book. Clear and persuasive, this study shifts our perspective in productive ways, introducing readers to texts that, taken collectively, transform radically our existing narratives of fin de siècle African American literary history.” —Nadia Nurhussein, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History
About the Author
Professor of English at Kean University, John Cullen Gruesser is the author or editor of eight books, including Confluences: Postcolonialism, African American Literary Studies, and the Black Atlantic (Georgia) and Loopholes and Retreats: African American Writers and the Nineteenth Century.