Horatio Jr. Alger Further Reading - Essay

Further Reading

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Beauchamp, Gorman. "Ragged Dick and the Fate of Respectability." Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Summer 1992): 324-45.

In this discussion of Ragged Dick, Beauchamp argues that critics in the past overlooked the preeminent theme of respectability, an ideal he finds relatively scarce in contemporary American popular culture.

Hendler, Glenn. "Pandering in the Public Sphere: Masculinity and the Market in Horatio Alger." American Quarterly, Vol. 48, no. 3 (September 1996): 415-38.

Hendler argues that Alger's novels were intended to indoctrinate boys in preparation for the male, financial, public sphere.

Nackenoff, Carol. "Of Factories and Failures: Exploring the Invisible Factory Gates of Horatio Alger, Jr." Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 25, no. 4 (Spring 1992): 63-80.

Nackenoff argues that Alger's moralism has been underestimated by past critics. She clarifies the urgency of his moral message by contextualizing his writings historically.

Pauly, Thomas H. "Ragged Dick and Little Women: Idealized Homes and Unwanted Marriages." Journal of Popular Culture 9 (1975): 583-92.

Pauly places Ragged Dick in the context of early children's literature, which was meant to morally instruct and socially mold young people, but he argues that Alger tended to subvert these purposes.

Scharnhorst, Gary. Journal of Popular Culture. Vol. 15, No. 3 (Winter 1981): 175-82.

Scharnhorst explores Alger's literary influences, concluding that Alger's works are derivative but more diverse than generally considered.

Trachtenberg, Alan. Introduction to Ragged Dick. Signet, 1990.

Trachtenberg argues against the interpretation of Alger's novels as capitalist guide books, provides historical and biographical background, and concludes that Alger's ideals are pervasive because he wrote formulaically.

Additional coverage of Alger's life and career is contained in the following source published by the Gale Group: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 42.