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The Indignant Generation : A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 - Lawrence P. Jackson

The Indignant Generation

A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960

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"The Indignant Generation" is the first narrative history of the neglected but essential period of African American literature between the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Era. The years between these two indispensable epochs saw the communal rise of Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and many other influential black writers. While these individuals have been duly celebrated, little attention has been paid to the political and artistic milieu in which they produced their greatest works. With this commanding study, Lawrence Jackson recalls the lost history of a crucial era.

Looking at the tumultuous decades surrounding World War II, Jackson restores the "indignant" quality to a generation of African American writers shaped by Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, the growth of American Communism, and an international wave of decolonization. He also reveals how artistic collectives in New York, Chicago, and Washington fostered a sense of destiny and belonging among diverse and disenchanted peoples. As Jackson shows through contemporary documents, the years that brought us "Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son," and "Invisible Man" also saw the rise of African American literary criticism--by both black and white critics.

Fully exploring the cadre of key African American writers who triumphed in spite of segregation, "The Indignant Generation" paints a vivid portrait of American intellectual and artistic life in the mid-twentieth century.

Winner of the 2012 Book Award, College Language Association Winner of the 2012 Literary Award for Nonfiction, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award in Literature, Association of American Publishers Finalist for the 2011 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction, The Hurston/Wright Foundation Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award, Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, University of Memphis Winner of the 2010 William Sanders Scarborough Prize, Modern Language Association "[Jackson's] encyclopedic book offers a chronological, old-fashioned history of literature, covering a period desperately in need of thorough-going research and detail, and presents a deeply documented, dense but thoroughly readable account... Jackson's detail may offer more than the casual sightseer seeks, but scholars will rely upon and mine his monumental work and the prodigious research upon which it is based. It should guide the way African-American and American literature is studied."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A meticulously researched, detailed account of African American literature and its critics from the end of the Harlem Renaissance to the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement... A valuable resource for scholars and graduate students in African American studies."--William Gargan, Library Journal "[This] exhaustive compilation--covering from the well-known writers to the little recognized--traverses the journeys of the artists and their links in the hubs of Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C."--Maudlyne Ihejirika, Chicago Sun-Times "Ambitious... Rich with photos and well written, the book merits praise for the deserved attention it brings to the rise of African American criticism and intellectualism and to the many important people who figured in the rise of better-known novelists."--Choice "Jackson's formulation of the indignant generation is a prodigious contribution to African American literary history."--Andrew M. Fearnley, Journal of American Studies "The Indignant Generation is a must-read for scholars of American culture on both sides of the Atlantic... Jackson's book is invaluable for its historiographic, hermeneutic, and literary merits."--Sieglinde Lemke, American Studies "African-American writers had plenty to be indignant about during the middle decades of the 20th century... Lawrence P. Jackson surveys the era with clarity and perception. Focusing on the literary hubs of Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., the book captures the complexities of the period, the great hope and skepticism its black writers engendered."--Steve Bogira, Chicago Reader

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Irredeemable Promise: The Bittersweet Career of J. Saunders Reddingp. 1
Three Swinging Sisters: Harlem, Howard, and the South Side (1934-1936)p. 15
The Black Avant-Garde between Left and Right (1935-1939)p. 42
A New Kind of Challenge (1936-1939)p. 68
The Triumph of Chicago Realism (1938-1940)p. 93
Bigger Thomas among the Liberals (1940-1943)p. 123
Friends in Need of Negroes: Bucklin Moon and Thomas Sancton (1942-1945)p. 149
"Beating That Boy": White Writers, Critics, Editors, and the Liberal Arts Coalition (1944-1949)p. 178
Afroliberals and the End of World War II (1945-1946)p. 196
Black Futilitarianists and the Welcome Table (1945-1947)p. 219
The Peril of Something New, or, the Decline of Social Realism (1947-1948)p. 258
The Negro New Liberal Critic and the Big Little Magazine (1948-1949)p. 275
The Communist Dream of African American Modernism (1947-1950)p. 297
The Insinuating Poetics of the Mainstream (1949-1950)p. 323
Still Looking for Freedom (1949-1954)p. 342
The Expatriation: The Price of Brown and the New Bohemians (1952-1955)p. 379
Liberal Friends No More: The Rubble of White Patronage (1956-1958)p. 411
The End of the Negro Writer (1955-1960)p. 444
The Reformation of Black New Liberals (1958-1960)p. 470
Prometheus Unbound (1958-1960)p. 485
Notesp. 511
Indexp. 559
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691141350
ISBN-10: 0691141355
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 608
Published: 28th November 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 16.0  x 5.08
Weight (kg): 1.16