Revisions of the American Adam: Innocence, Identity and Masculinity in Twentieth Century America (Paperback)Jonathan Mitchell
Paperback Published: 24/10/2013
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The figure of the American Adam is a prevalent myth in US cultural history. Defined by R.W.B. Lewis in 1955 as "the hero of new adventure ...an individual standing alone, self-reliant and self-propelling, ready to confront whatever awaited him with the aid of his own unique and inherent resources", the figure is discernable in the American renaissance writers and in the imagery of the frontiersman, cowboy, gangster as well as in the heroes of US action movies. Focusing on the American Adam as a paradigm of masculine identity formation, this monograph examines how this fantasy of an imaginary ideal identity has held an ideological sway over US identity in the main. Taking in a range of cultural texts, Jonathan Mitchell's study explores the complexities and contradictions of Adam's 'real' condition of existence to show how the paradigm influences both masculinity and subsequently hegemonic US identity as represented throughout twentieth-century US culture.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC