Chapter

The Spanish-American War, US Expansion, and the Novel

Gretchen Murphy

in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780195385342
Published online March 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190252779 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385342.003.0012

Series: Oxford History of the Novel in English

The Spanish-American War, US Expansion, and the Novel

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This chapter explores the link between U.S. foreign policy and the American novel by focusing on the Spanish-American War. It first considers the debates over national identity sparked by the Spanish-American War before turning to a discussion of the war's relationship with the developing theories of popular culture and the aesthetics of realism. It then examines competing claims to realism and the role played by both genre and gender in the roots of the representational crises that arose during the period. The chapter also looks at gender politics in cultural representations of the war and the conflict between feminine pacifism and besieged masculinity, citing the novels of writers such as Edith Elmer Wood, Richard Harding Davis, and Frederick Albion Ober.

Keywords: foreign policy; novels; Spanish-American War; national identity; popular culture; realism; gender politics; feminine pacifism; masculinity; Edith Elmer Wood

Chapter.  8127 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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