"Kassanoff not only offers a penetrating look at cultural influences on Wharton and her novels, but also writes with eloquence and conviction. This relevant and unique book has much to offer. Essential." D.D. Knight, SUNY College at Cortland, CHOICE
"This relevant and unique book has much to offer. Essential." Choice
Edith Wharton feared that the 'ill-bred', foreign and poor would overwhelm an American native elite. Drawing on a range of turn-of-the-century social documents, unpublished archival material and all of Wharton's novels, Jennie A. Kassanoff argues that a fuller appreciation of American culture and democracy becomes available through a sustained engagement with these controversial views. She pursues her theme via Wharton's spirited participation in a variety of turn-of-the-century discourses--from euthanasia and tourism to pragmatism and Native Americans--to produce a truly interdisciplinary study of this major American writer.