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Introduction - The United States of Apocalypse

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2020

John Hay
Affiliation:
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Summary

In addition to evoking western lands and democratic politics, the very name of America has also encouraged apocalyptic visions. The “American Dream” has not only been about the prospect of material prosperity; it has also been about the end of the world. Final forecasts constitute one of America’s oldest literary genres, extending from the eschatological theology of the New England Puritans to the revolutionary discourse of the early republic, the emancipatory rhetoric of the Civil War, the anxious fantasies of the atomic age, and the doomsday digital media of today. For those studying the history of America, renditions of the apocalypse are simply unavoidable. This collection brings together two dozen essays by prominent scholars that explore the meanings of apocalypse across different periods, regions, genres, registers, modes, and traditions of American literature and culture. It locates the logic and rhetoric of apocalypse at the very core of American literary history.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • The United States of Apocalypse
  • Edited by John Hay, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Book: Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 03 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108663557.001
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  • The United States of Apocalypse
  • Edited by John Hay, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Book: Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 03 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108663557.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The United States of Apocalypse
  • Edited by John Hay, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Book: Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 03 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108663557.001
Available formats
×