Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature Polemical Literature - Essay

Polemical Literature

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

David Brion Davis

SOURCE: "Some Themes of Counter-Subversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, Anti-Catholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature," in From Homicide to Slavery: Studies in American Culture, Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 137-154.

[In this essay, originally published in 1960, Davis analyzes various themes of anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, and anti-Mormon literature in nineteenth-century America, suggesting that it tended to subvert the established order it claimed to protect by liberating certain irrational impulses against an imagined enemy.]

During the second quarter of the nineteenth century, when danger of foreign invasion appeared...

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