W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393925890, 281pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2007
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.
About the Author
"Horatio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832 - July 18, 1899) was a prolific 19th-century American author, best known for his many formulaic juvenile novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. He initially wrote and published for adults, but a friendship with boys' author William Taylor Adams led him to writing for the young. He published for years in Adams's Student and Schoolmate, a children's magazine of moral writings. His lifelong theme of rags to respectability had a profound impact on America in the Gilded Age. His works gained even greater popularity following his death, but gradually lost reader interest in the 1920s." - Wikipedia