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Resurrecting Leather-Stocking (eBook)

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James Fenimore Cooper’s Leather-Stocking tales—The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie, The Pathfinder, and The Deerslayer (1823–1841)—romantically portray frontier America during the colonial and early republican eras. Bill Christophersen’s Resurrecting Leather-Stocking: Pathfinding in Jacksonian America suggests they also highlight problems plaguing nineteenth-century America during the contentious decades following the Missouri Compromise, when Congress admitted Missouri to the Union as a slave state.During the 1820s and 1830s, the nation was riven by sectional animosity, slavery, prejudice, populist politics, and finally economic collapse. Christophersen argues that Cooper used his fictions to imagine a path forward for the Republic. Cooper, he further suggests, brought back Leather-Stocking to test whether the common man, as empowered by Jackson’s presidency, was capable of republican virtue—something the author considered key to renewing the nation.

James Fenimore Cooper’s Leather-Stocking tales—The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie, The Pathfinder, and The Deerslayer (1823–1841)—romantically portray frontier America during the colonial and early republican eras. Bill Christophersen’s Resurrecting Leather-Stocking: Pathfinding in Jacksonian America suggests they also highlight problems plaguing nineteenth-century America during the contentious decades following the Missouri Compromise, when Congress admitted Missouri to the Union as a slave state.During the 1820s and 1830s, the nation was riven by sectional animosity, slavery, prejudice, populist politics, and finally economic collapse. Christophersen argues that Cooper used his fictions to imagine a path forward for the Republic. Cooper, he further suggests, brought back Leather-Stocking to test whether the common man, as empowered by Jackson’s presidency, was capable of republican virtue—something the author considered key to renewing the nation.


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