|Author/Contributor(s):||Blake, Casey Nelson|
|Publisher:||University of North Carolina Press|
Blake draws on biography to emphasize the intersection of questions of self, culture, and society in their calls for a culture of personality and self-fulfillment. In contrast to the tendency of previous analyses to separate these critics' cultural and autobiographical writings from their politics, Blake argues that their cultural criticism grew out of a radical vision of self-realization through participation in a democratic culture and polity. He also examines the Young American writers' interpretations of such turn-of-the-century radicals as William Morris, Henry George, John Dewey, and Patrick Geddes and shows that this adversary tradition still offers important insights into contemporary issues in American politics and culture.
Beloved Community reestablishes the democratic content of the Young Americans' ideal of personality and argues against viewing a monolithic therapeutic culture as the sole successor to a Victorian culture of character. The politics of selfhood that was so critical to the Young Americans' project has remained a contested terrain throughout the twentieth century.