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Book Cover
Author Drexler, Michael J.

Title The traumatic colonel : the founding fathers, slavery, and the phantasmatic Aaron Burr / Michael J. Drexler and Ed White
Published New York : New York University Press, 2014
(Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xxvi, 207 pages )
Series America and the long 19th century
UPCC book collections on Project MUSE. History
Contents Burrology : Extracts -- Introduction -- The Semiotics of the founders -- Hors Monde, or the fantasy structure of Republicanism -- Female Quixotism and the fantasy of region -- Burr's formation, 1800-1804 -- Burr's deployment, 1804-1807 -- Conclusion
Summary "In American political fantasy, the Founding Fathers loom large, at once historical and mythical figures. In The Traumatic Colonel, Michael J. Drexler and Ed White examine the Founders as imaginative fictions, characters in the specifically literary sense, whose significance emerged from narrative elements clustered around them. From the revolutionary era through the 1790s, the Founders took shape as a significant cultural system for thinking about politics, race, and sexuality. Yet after 1800, amid the pressures of the Louisiana Purchase and the Haitian Revolution, this system could no longer accommodate the deep anxieties about the United States as a slave nation. Drexler and White assert that the most emblematic of the political tensions of the time is the figure of Aaron Burr, whose rise and fall were detailed in the literature of his time: his electoral tie with Thomas Jefferson in 1800, the accusations of seduction, the notorious duel with Alexander Hamilton, his machinations as the schemer of a breakaway empire, and his spectacular treason trial. The authors venture a psychoanalytically-informed exploration of post-revolutionary America to suggest that the figure of 'Burr' was fundamentally a displaced fantasy for addressing the Haitian Revolution. Drexler and White expose how the historical and literary fictions of the nation's founding served to repress the larger issue of the slave system and uncover the Burr myth as the crux of that repression. Exploring early American novels, such as the works of Charles Brockden Brown and Tabitha Gilman Tenney, as well as the pamphlets, polemics, tracts, and biographies of the early republican period, the authors speculate that this flourishing of political writing illuminates the notorious gap in U.S. literary history between 1800 and 1820"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on print version record
Subject Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836 -- In literature
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836 -- Influence
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836 -- Public opinion
Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836.
Revolution (Haiti : 1791-1804)
American literature -- 1783-1850 -- History and criticism.
Fantasy -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Mythology -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Slavery -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
American literature.
HISTORY / Revolutionary.
HISTORY / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800).
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General.
Mythology -- Political aspects.
Politics and government.
Politics and literature.
Public opinion.
Slavery -- Political aspects.
Haiti -- History -- Revolution, 1791-1804 -- Influence
United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1865 -- Sources
United States.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
Author White, Ed, 1965-
Project Muse.
LC no. 2013049743
ISBN 1479888168