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American Philosophical Society
Raising Kane: Elisha kent Kane and the Culture of Fame in Antebellum America (Transaction Vol. 98, Pt 3)
Mark Metzler Sawin
The cultural biography of Elisha Kent Kane, a sickly Philadelphia physician who transformed himself into an internationally celebrated Arctic explorer and author before his untimely death in 1857. This book is an important reinterpretation of the life of a prototypically American figure. Following Kane’s exploits from the Mexican War through his arctic adventures and ill-fated romance with the Spiritualist medium Margaret Fox, author Mark Sawin ties this singular figure into the main currents of mid-19th century popular culture, opening a new vista on the meanings of masculinity, celebrity, and heroism. This work comprises two initiatives: a new and exhaustive research work into the life and accomplishments of a remarkable adventurer, and a sociological analysis of popular perceptions of Kane.s work and feats. Illus.
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