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Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks is arguably the best known of Horatio Alger's American rags-to-riches stories. It is canonical as a cultural text, rather than a purely literary one, as this Norton Critical Edition reflects. An extensive "Contexts" section includes maps, photographs, and documents showing how and why Alger used the backdrop of New York City to highlight problems of urban poverty, immigration, and child labor in mid-nineteenth century America."Criticism" is thematically organized around contemporary reviews and responses, the heated public debate about whether Alger should be available in American public libraries, parodies of and related responses to Alger, and four recent critical essays by Mary Wroth Walsh, Glenn Hendler, Michael Moon, and Hildegard Hoeller.
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations|
|The Text of Ragged Dick||p. 1|
|Alger on His Art and Life||p. 121|
|Friar Anselmo||p. 121|
|Are My Boys Real?||p. 122|
|Advice from Horatio Alger, Jr.||p. 124|
|Writing Stories for Boys||p. 125|
|The New York City Background||p. 129|
|New York and Its People||p. 129|
|Map: Dick's tour through the New York City of the 1860s||p. 132|
|Street Children||p. 139|
|Outcast Children||p. 141|
|Homeless Boys||p. 143|
|From Orphan Trains and Their Precious Cargo||p. 145|
|Contemporary Reviews||p. 153|
|Tangled Threads||p. 153|
|Putnam's Magazine||p. 156|
|Who Should Read Alger? Alger and the Public Library||p. 157|
|The Public Library, and Its Choice of Books||p. 157|
|Sensational Fiction in Public Libraries||p. 158|
|Peccator: As to Novel-reading - A Confession||p. 160|
|Class Adaptation in the Selection of Books - The Fiction Question||p. 161|
|Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, Vermont: Annual Report||p. 162|
|Young Men's Association, Buffalo: Annual Report||p. 162|
|Unsigned Review: Books for Young People||p. 163|
|Alger's legacy: parodies and responses||p. 165|
|A Self-Made Man||p. 165|
|The Alger Complex||p. 169|
|Tom the Young Kidnapper, or, Pay Up and Live||p. 172|
|The Death of Horatio Alger||p. 176|
|Legendary Alger Was a Homosexual||p. 180|
|Demythologizing Alger||p. 182|
|Critical Essays||p. 199|
|Selling the Self-Made Woman||p. 199|
|"The Gentle Boy from the Dangerous Classes"; Pederasty, Domesticity, and Capitalism in Horatio Alger||p. 209|
|Pandering in the Public Sphere: Masculinity and the Market in Horatio Alger||p. 233|
|Freaks and the American Dream: Horatio Alger, P. T. Barnum, and the Art of Humbug||p. 254|
|Horatio Alger, Jr.: A Chronology||p. 277|
|Selected Bibliography||p. 281|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|