Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6⅜ x 9¼
978-1-5381-0571-9 • Hardback • November 2017 • $46.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-5381-0572-6 • eBook • November 2017 • $43.50 • (£33.00)
Tom Cronin (Stanford University, PhD) is McHugh Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College. He is President Emeritus of Whitman College (1993-2005) and served as Acting President at Colorado College (1991). He has served as President of the Presidency Research Group, and President of the Western Political Science Association, and on the Executive Council of the American Political Science Association. He has authored and co-authored best-selling text-books on American government and the American presidency. He has won several awards for teaching, advising and for his research, including the American Political Science Association's Charles E. Merriam Award for significant contributions to the art of government, and Best Leadership Book Award of 2013.
His latest books are Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox (Paradigm Publishers, 2012); Colorado Politics and Policy: Governing a Purple State, co-authored with Robert D. Loevy (University of Nebraska Press, 2012); and The Paradoxes of the American Presidency, 5th edition, co-authored with Michael A. Genovese (Oxford University Press, 2017).
He has published many articles in major political science and public policy journals, as well as in Science, Saturday Review, The New York Times Magazine, TV Guide, and The Daily Beast. He writes regular feature essays for The Denver Post.
Chapter 1: American Political Storytelling
Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Eagle and Its Political Narratives
Chapter 3: The Novelist as Political Agitator
Chapter 4: The Novelist as Political Consciousness Raiser
Chapter 5: The Novelist as Political Satirist
Chapter 6: The Novelist on the Campaign Trail
Chapter 7: The Novelist as Political Anthropologist
About the Author
After two engaging chapters on how US novelists—from the late 17th century to the near present—reflect the US political landscape, Cronin (Colorado College) devotes the remaining five chapters to the novelist’s role as political agitator, political consciousness raiser, political satirist, campaigner, and, finally, political anthropologist. These chapters examine, among others, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harper Lee, Toni Morrison, Henry Adams, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Joseph Heller, and Philip Roth. In the preface Cronin identifies these individuals as “tribal storytellers” and their novels as “moral and civic consciousness raisers.” This is an important and timely book, and the author combines his enormous knowledge of political science with lively and sensitive insights on literary criticism. A helpful “select bibliography” lists earlier treatments of this subject…. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above.— Choice Reviews
“Tom Cronin writes with panache and much insight about heroes of mine like Steinbeck, Roth, Morrison, Heller, Abbey, Harper Lee, Howard Fast, Helen Hunt Jackson, and Nathanael West. With a lineup like this, you pretty much can’t go wrong – and Cronin doesn’t.”— John Nichols, writer and novelist
“When American political reality is confounding – like, say, today – there can be enlightenment in fiction. Tom Cronin’s smart, engaging, expansive tour of political novels turns out to be timely in ways he couldn’t have foreseen. The novels explored in Imagining a Great Republic – from classics such as Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to less well-known works such as Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona -- take us back to basics: The aspirations from our founding and the challenges we’ve faced in trying to achieve them. Political novelists tend to be optimists, he notes, but ones with a sharp understanding that our fragile democratic experiment is constantly being tested – by slavery, by corruption, by dogma, by would-be despots. Cronin shows how storytellers long have served to remind us of what America is, and what we want it to be. That’s a good thing to remember these days.”— Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA TODAY and author of The Matriarch
"Who would have guessed that this distinguished scholar of politics and the presidency also possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of American political novels, or that he could write about them with such sympathy and insight, no matter what their point of view? Tom Cronin’s latest book is a revelation regarding the role of literature in imagining, and shaping, our republic.”— Vincent Carroll, former editor, The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
“The United States has always been more an idea than a place, an in Imagining a Great Republic, Thomas Cronin unpacks the many paradoxes, contrasts and conflicts that comprise what it means to be “American." Using the political novel as his guide, Cronin navigates the varying interpretations of the American Dream as imagined by idealists and pragmatists, democrats and autocrats, freedom-seekers and equality-demanders, always sensitive to the nuances of context as well as the clashes of aspirations. This magisterial work is indispensable for understanding who we are as well as who we might yet become.”— Michael A. Genovese, President, Global Policy Institute, Loyola Marymount University
"Deserves to be widely read and given serious consideration from scholars of American politics."— H.N. Hirsch, Oberlin College