Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Learning from the LeftChildren's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Julia L. Mickenberg

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152807

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152807.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 August 2019

Ballad for American Children

Ballad for American Children

History, Folklore, and Leftist Civic Education

Chapter:
(p.231) 7 Ballad for American Children
Source:
Learning from the Left
Author(s):

Julia L. Mickenberg (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152807.003.0008

Beginning with Meridel Le Sueur's River Road: A Story of Abraham Lincoln, this chapter examines children's literature, primarily from the 1940s and 1950s, which employed history, folklore, and American tradition toward a project of “leftist civic education”. Radicals both rewrote master narratives to emphasize a working-class perspective, and also recovered the stories of marginalized people, particularly members of the working class, women, and African Americans. Ironically, by creating markets for children's books dealing with American history and life, civic education programs and other school initiatives usually designed to boost children's patriotism fostered the production of books that used the past to criticize conditions in the present. The chapter explores the traditional association between the Left and folklore as it played out in children's literature. Finally, using biographies of black women by Dorothy Sterling, Ann Petry, Emma Gelders Sterne, and Shirley Graham, it traces leftist concern with African Americans and with women, as these played out in historical works for children.

Keywords:   history, folklore, Dorothy Sterling, Ann Petry, Emma Gelders Sterne. Shirley Graham, civic education, African Americans, biography

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .