By James B. Salazar

From the patricians of the early republic to post-Reconstruction racial scientists, from fin de siècle progressivist social reformers to post-war sociologists, personality, that interestingly formable but both ambitious “stuff,” has had a protracted and checkered heritage giving form to the yankee nationwide identity.

Bodies of Reform reconceives this pivotal class of nineteenth-century literature and tradition by means of charting the improvement of the concept that of “character” within the fictional genres, social reform routine, and political cultures of the USA from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth century. through studying novelists akin to Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman along a various number of texts fascinated by the undertaking of creating personality, together with child-rearing courses, muscle-building magazines, libel and naturalization legislations, Scout handbooks, and luck manuals, James B. Salazar uncovers how the cultural practices of representing personality operated in tandem with the character-building techniques of social reformers. His cutting edge studying of this archive bargains an intensive revision of this defining classification in U.S. literature and tradition, arguing that personality was once the keystone of a cultural politics of embodiment, a politics that performed a serious position in determining-and contesting-the social mobility, political authority, and cultural which means of the raced and gendered body.

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