Building culture : studies in the intellectual history of industrializing America, 1867-1910 /
Richard F. Teichgraeber III.
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c2010.
xv, 184 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
1570039259 (cloth : alk. paper), 9781570039256 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c2010.
1570039259 (cloth : alk. paper)
9781570039256 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
"The word of the modern" : "culture" in industrializing America -- "Our national glory" : Emerson in American culture, 1865-82 -- "More than Luther of these modern days" : the social construction of Emerson's posthumous reputation, 1882-1903 -- The academic public sphere : the university movement in American culture, 1870-1901 -- Race and academic culture in 1903 : the twin conventions, the Basset affair, and the souls of Black folk.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
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An inclusive new vision of the formation of modern American culture
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2011
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Main Description
An unprecedented wave of interest in building new cultural institutions swept through America from the end of the Civil War through the first decade of the twentieth century. Traditionally historians have told us that this sea change was the work of various elites intent on controlling the turmoil and divisions that accompanied the industrialization of the American economy. In Building Culture, Richard Teichgraeber rejects this hierarchical account to pursue one that highlights the multiplicity of attitudes and interests that were on display in America's first great effort to build national cultural institutions. Teichgraeber also lays the groundwork of a new interpretive framework for understanding this multisided effort. Most native-born American champions of "culture," he contends, viewed it as an authentically individualistic ideal. For them the concept continued to carry its antebellum meaning of self-culture--that is, individual self-development or self-improvement--and thus was quite resistant to closure around any single fixed definition of what being cultivated might mean. They also recognized that in America culture had to connect with the choices of ordinary men and women and therefore had to be fashioned to serve the uses of a democratic rather than an aristocratic society. To show how and why this inclusive view of culture was accompanied by a prodigious expansion of American cultural institutions, Teichgraeber also explores two of the central but still inadequately mapped developments in the intellectual and cultural history of the industrial era: the multifaceted--and ultimately successful--effort to secure Ralph Waldo Emerson a central place in American culture at large; and the growth and consolidation of the American university system, certainly the most important of the new cultural institutions built during the industrial era. Elegantly written and featuring twenty-two illustrations, Building Culture expands our knowledge of the formation of modern American culture and opens new paths of inquiry into contemporary cultural and intellectual concerns.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. viii
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
"The word of the modern": "Culture" in Industrializing Americap. 1
"Our national glory": Emerson in American Culture, 1865-82p. 24
"More than Luther of these modern days": The Social Construction of Emerson's Posthumous Reputation, 1882-1903p. 48
The Academic Public Sphere: The University Movement in American Culture, 1870-1901p. 75
Race and Academic Culture in 1903: The Twin Conventions, the Basset Affair, and The Souls of Black Folkp. 110
Afterwordp. 141
Notesp. 147
Indexp. 175
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