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Yokota, Kariann Akemi
Unbecoming British : how revolutionary America became a postcolonial nation / Kariann Akemi Yokota
Alternate Title How revolutionary America became a postcolonial nation
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  E164 .Y65 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) National characteristics, American -- History
Subject United States -- Civilization -- 1783-1865
United States -- Civilization -- To 1783
Physical Description xii, 354 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. [243]-342) and index
Contents Cover; Contents; Acknowledgments; INTRODUCTION: Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Postcolonial Nation; CHAPTER ONE: A New Nation on the Margins of the Global Map; CHAPTER TWO: A Culture of Insecurity: Americans in a Transatlantic World of Goods; CHAPTER THREE: A Revolution Revived: American and British Encounters in Canton, China; CHAPTER FOUR: Sowing the Seeds of Postcolonial Discontent: The Transatlantic Exchange of American Nature and British Patronage; CHAPTER FIVE: "A Great Curiosity": The American Quest for Racial Refinement and Knowledge CONCLUSION: The Long Goodbye: Breaking with the British in Nineteenth-century AmericaNotes; Index
Summary What can homespun cloth, stuffed birds, quince jelly, and ginseng reveal about the formation of early American national identity? In this wide-ranging and bold new interpretation of American history and its Founding Fathers, Kariann Akemi Yokota shows that political independence from Britain fueled anxieties among the Americans about their cultural inferiority and continuing dependence on the mother country. Caught between their desire to emulate the mother country and an awareness that they lived an ocean away on the periphery of the known world, they went to great lengths to convince themselves and others of their refinement. Taking a transnational approach to American history, Yokota examines a wealth of evidence from geography, the decorative arts, intellectual history, science, and technology to underscore that the process of "unbecoming British" was not an easy one. Indeed, the new nation struggled to define itself economically, politically, and culturally in what could be called America's postcolonial period. Out of this confusion of hope and exploitation, insecurity and vision, a uniquely American identity emerged

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