By William Huntting Howell
Individualism is arguably the main very important guideline of yankee nationwide identification: American cultural heroes are usually mavericks and nonconformists, and independence is the fulcrum of the yankee beginning tale. yet within the overdue eighteenth and early 19th centuries, a few American artists, writers, and academic philosophers solid imitation and emulation as vital to the associated tasks of imagining the self and consolidating the state. Tracing continuities among literature, fabric tradition, and pedagogical idea, William Huntting Howell uncovers an the USA that celebrated the virtues of humility, contingency, and connection to a posh entire over ambition and distinction.
Against Self-Reliance revalues and rethinks what it intended to be repetitive, by-product or pointedly customary within the early republic and past. Howell attracts on such diverse assets as Benjamin Franklin's courses for ethical reform, Phillis Wheatley's devotional poetry, David Rittenhouse's cash and astronomical machines, Benjamin Rush's mental and political thought, Susanna Rowson's schoolbooks, and the novels of Charles Brockden Brown and Herman Melville to tease out styles of dependence in early the US. With its incisive critique of America's storied heroic individualism, Against Self-Reliance argues that the humanities of dependence were—and are—critical to the venture of yankee independence.