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William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic

by Alan Taylor

Paperback / softback

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In this story of a frontier village in the early American Republic, Alan Taylor explores the lives of Judge William Cooper and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper - father and son. As frontier speculator, landlord, and politician, the father played a leading role in the conquest, resettlement, and environmental transformation of the early nation. Drawing upon his childhood memories of the New York frontier, the son created the historical fictions that made him the most popular, influential, and controversial American novelist of the early nineteenth century. Taylor makes it clear that in a rapidly changing nation William Cooper's development of Cooperstown and his son's creation of the village of Templeton in The Pioneers were different stages of a common effort, over two generations, to create, sustain, and justify a wealthy and powerful estate. Both sought that unity of social, economic, political, and cultural authority idealized in colonial America but at odds with the legacy of the American Revolution. William Cooper's Town combines biography, social history, and literary analysis. By breaching the barriers that separate political, social, and literary history, Taylor reveals the interplay of frontier settlement and narrative-making in the early American Republic. He examines how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new property, new power, and new stories along their extensive frontier.

Product details

Contemporary fiction
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Vintage Ser.
Random House USA Inc
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

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