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American Lives
Casper, Scott E. Constructing American Lives : Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

"The variety and depth of the Biography collection made my study far more than I had originally planned, raising key questions about what the category "biography" meant to nineteenth-century Americans. Campaign biographies of presidential candidates (from little pamphlets to bound volumes), memoirs of ordinary Christian women, collective biographies ranging from shoemakers to missionaries: AAS has them all, often in multiple editions. Thus the clothbound, paperbound, and London editions of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Life of Franklin Pierce enable a scholar to trace publishing history, not just read for content. Finding a deck of the "Authors" game with four "Biographers" cards -- the week before my book's cover was to be designed! -- iced an already rich cake."
- Scott E. Casper, University of Nevada (Reno)


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Last updated September 2, 2004

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