By Caleb Smith
Condemned to hold after his raid on Harper’s Ferry, John Brown prophesied that the crimes of a slave-holding land will be purged away simply with blood. A research of omens, maledictions, and encouraged invocations, The Oracle and the Curse examines how utterances equivalent to Brown’s formed American literature among the Revolution and the Civil War.
In nineteenth-century felony trials, judges performed the position of law’s dwelling oracles, yet offenders have been additionally given a chance to handle the general public. while the accused started to flip the tables on their judges, they did so now not via rational arguments yet by way of calling down a divine retribution. generally circulated in newspapers and pamphlets, those curses seemed to channel an otherworldly strength, condemning an unjust criminal method and summoning readers to the part of righteousness.
Exploring the modes of handle that communicated the authority of legislations and the dictates of moral sense in antebellum America’s courtroom of public opinion, Caleb Smith deals a brand new poetics of justice which assesses the nonrational impression that those published confessions, trial experiences, and martyr narratives exerted on their first audiences. Smith indicates how writers portrayed struggles for justice as clashes among human legislations and better authority, giving voice to an ethical protest that remodeled American literature.
Read or Download The Oracle and the Curse: A Poetics of Justice from the Revolution to the Civil War PDF
Similar Legal History books
Providing the 1st book-length exploration of community television's kin with advocacy teams, Kathryn C. Montgomery provides a complete photograph of the effect of geared up strain on prime-time television. She vividly describes, for instance, how the Catholic Church campaigned opposed to Maude's abortion at the television convey, Maude; how outraged actors mobilized a countrywide protest opposed to the portrayal of blacks within the television miniseries, Beulah Land; and the way the ethical Majority waged a worldly crusade to "clean up TV," by means of threatening to boycott advertisers.
Till lately, reviews of the Bible based on discovering resources for old wisdom, theological insights, or moral suggestion, overlooking the real fantastic thing about the phrases within the "book of books. " This choice of six essays by means of famous literary critics and biblical scholars--including Harold Bloom, Hans Frei, Frank Kermode, James Robinson, Donald Foster, and Herbert Schneidau--breaks new floor by means of exploring the Bible as poetry, rhetoric, and narrative.
Intercourse, privilege, corruption, and revenge--these are parts that we think to discover splashed throughout cutting-edge tabloid headlines. yet seventeenth century England observed a intercourse scandal that introduced shame to the ruling category and ended with the beheading of an earl. In a home in Gross affliction, Cynthia Herrup offers a strikingly new interpretation of the case of the 2d Earl of Castlehaven and of the sexual and social anxieties it solid into such daring reduction.
Referred to as the "Great Dissenter," Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote the most eloquent reviews within the heritage of the us splendid courtroom. an excellent felony brain who served at the excessive court docket into his nineties, Holmes used to be liable for probably the most very important judicial critiques of the 20 th century.
Extra resources for The Oracle and the Curse: A Poetics of Justice from the Revolution to the Civil War