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Mania for Freedom
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Mania for Freedom: American Literatures of Enthusiasm from the Revolution to the Civil War

John Mac Kilgore


“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1841. While this statement may read like an innocuous truism today, the claim would have been controversial in the antebellum United States when enthusiasm was a hotly contested term associated with religious fanaticism and poetic inspiration, revolutionary politics and imaginative excess. In analyzing the language of enthusiasm in philosophy, religion, politics, and literature, John Mac Kilgore uncovers a tradition of enthusiasm linked to a politics of emancipation. The dissenting voices chronicled here fought ... More

Keywords: Enthusiasm, American literature, revolution, resistance, dissent, American Revolution, War of 1812, slave insurrection, Civil War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781469629728
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629728.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Mac Kilgore, author
Florida State University