The complete colonial gentleman : cultural legitimacy in plantation America /
Michal J. Rozbicki.
Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1998.
xii, 221 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0813917506 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1998.
0813917506 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-216) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-02-15:
To the many battles in colonial America‘the battle for survival, the regional differences over agrarianism and slavery, the war for independence‘Rozbicki (Transformation of the English Cultural Ethos in Colonial America, Univ. Pr. of America, 1988) adds the struggle for cultural legitimacy. On the European side of the Atlantic, British society was reflected in the aristocrat, the cultured gentleman. In the American colonies, the planter aspired to cultural gentility but, in the eyes of the British, he was not only uncultured; his aspirations to gentility were unrealistic. Rozbicki makes extensive use of primary sources to explore colonial culture, sophistication, arts, and learning, and concludes that the pursuit of legitimacy is characteristic of a society with a zeal for liberty and equality. Rozbicki points to the self-made man, the planter elite, who played the significant role in American independence and whose ambition for recognition was a product of this quest for legitimacy. For academic libraries.‘Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1998-07:
Historians appear to be of two minds regarding the question of Old World gentility in America. One group argues that elites among the Colonial gentry met the standards of European gentility, while other scholars insist that early American elites "belatedly pursued an ideal" that created a social situation that retarded the development of an original culture. Rozbicki, however, believes that both approaches are based on misinterpretation of the legitimizing process in American culture. He argues that the planter elites, during the time frame from the 1720s to the 1770s, did develop an obvious identification with the Old World. But he is equally convinced that this activity was part of a process that not only did not retard change but also may, in fact, have speeded up and created a situation whereby Americanization became a prerequisite that allowed the nascent country to evolve and utilize new concepts of liberty, fraternity, and virtue, which otherwise might have been slowed. The author also views the Revolution as an event containing ideas from Europe that developed into new concepts with egalitarian implications in the American environment. Two important chapters investigate and explain American gentility and provincialism. A significant interpretive study. Notes. Illustrations. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. D. Born Jr.; Wichita State University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, February 1998
Choice, July 1998
Reference & Research Book News, August 1998
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introductionp. 1
The Problemp. 7
Gentility: A Transatlantic Aspirationp. 28
The Curse of Provincialismp. 76
Beautiful Order and Politenessp. 127
Genteel Ethos on the Eve of the Revolutionp. 172
Notesp. 193
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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