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Shadowing the White Man's Burden – U.S. Imperialism and the Problem of the Color Line - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Shadowing the White Man's Burden: U.S. Imperialism and the Problem of the Color Line

Gretchen Murphy


During the height of 19th-century imperialism, Rudyard Kipling published his famous poem “The White Man's Burden.” While some of his American readers argued that the poem served as justification for imperialist practices, others saw Kipling's satirical talents at work and read it as condemnation. This book explores this tension embedded in the notion of the white man's burden to create a new historical frame for understanding race and literature in America. The book maintains that literature symptomized and channeled anxiety about the racial components of the U.S. world mission, while also pro ... More

Keywords: imperialism, race, literature, global color lines, African-American authors, Asian-American authors, Native-American authors, national identity, American literature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780814795989
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814795989.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gretchen Murphy, author