American Palestine – Review Excerpts

Review Excerpts

American Palestine
Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania

by Hilton Obenzinger

ap_cover“Obenzinger writes with insight, authority, and great thoroughness. And his historical backgrounding is consistently interesting, entertaining, and instructive. American Palestine contains one of the most searching critiques I know of the complexities of disent in Melville’s work. There is no better survey of Americans abraoad in the Gilded Age and no sharper analysis of the West-as-metaphor in Twain’s work. American Palestine is a distinguished contribution to American literary and cultural studies.”

—Sacvan Bercovitch, Charles H. Carswell Professor of English
and American Literature, Harvard University

“American Palestine is a study of the way that the cultural obsession with ‘Palestine’ helped to define America’s settler-colonial identity both before and after the Civil War and thus kept alive its own expansionist energies. Obenzinger turns an extraordinarily improbable, not to say problematic, comparison and contrast between Melville and Twain into a splendid examination of the nineteenth-century American metaphysics of Holy Land-loving.”

—Giles Gunn,University of California, Santa Barbara

Other Reviews of American Palestine:

At the Mark Twain Joseph B. McCullough

From the Journal of American History

Book Excerpt