The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830

The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830

The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830

The Eternal Adam and the New World Garden: The Central Myth in the American Novel since 1830

Excerpt

This is a book about the American novel written by an historian. I have ventured across the traditional dividing line between history and literature because our novelists have played a crucial role in shaping the controlling assumptions that I bring to the analysis and writing of history.

The present essay is closely linked to an earlier book, Historians Against History: The Frontier Thesis and the National Covenant in American Historical Writing Since 1830. There I argued that a central tradition in American historical writing has been the assumption that the United States, unlike the European nations, has a covenant that makes Americans a chosen people who have escaped from the terror of historical change to live in timeless harmony with nature. From the beginning of the nineteenth century until today, many of our historians have written intricate metaphysical and theological narratives to demonstrate that change throughout the history of the republic is mere appearance and that ultimate reality in America resides in the immutable time of origins in 1776 or 1789.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.