Van Wyck Brooks Raymond Nelson - Essay

Raymond Nelson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Makers and Finders is a romantic history shaped according to the familiar liberal analysis that divides American society between the progressive, democratic values best represented by Thomas Jefferson and the aristocratic reaction represented by Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists. That interpretation has been influential during much of this century, and Brooks might have had it most directly from Vernon L. Parrington's Main Currents in American Thought (1927–1930), among any number of other sources. As the patriarchal symbolism suggests, the history is not concerned exclusively with literature, but rather with broad developments in all aspects of the nineteenth-century American culture that grew...

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