Critical Americans: Victorian Intellectuals and Transatlantic Liberal Reform

Synopsis

As questions of citizenship generate new debates for this generation of Americans, Thomas argues for revitalizing the role of literature in civic education. He considers 4 case studies in which individuals are presented in literature as "the good citizen," "the patriotic citizen," "the independent citizen," and "the immigrant citizen." He also provides analysis of the civic mythology surrounding Abraham Lincoln and the case of Ex parte Milligan. Engaging current debates about civil society, civil liberties, civil rights, and immigration, Thomas draws on the complexities of law and literature to probe the complexities of U. S. citizenship.