Read more about Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution

Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution

(6 reviews)

Wendy Kurant, University of North Georgia

Copyright Year: 2018

ISBN 13: 9781940771465

Publisher: University of North Georgia Press

Language: English

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Reviewed by Jenna Gersie, Graduate Part-Time Instructor, University of Colorado Boulder on 6/11/20

In the first section, there is a nod to Native American accounts, including creation stories and accounts of contact with settlers/colonists, but these tales only make up about 25% of this first section, placing the priority on “discovery”... read more

Reviewed by Christopher Weinmann, Adjunct Faculty, Middlesex Community College on 6/8/20

The anthology is comparable to the first volume of the Shorter Ninth Edition of "The Norton Anthology of American Literature", which is the text I use when teaching survey courses of American literature through 1865. Both textbooks include... read more

Reviewed by Bridget Marshall, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell on 6/2/20

This anthology offers a huge number of selections. 1500 pages is a lot of material; but this is also a huge period and difficult to contain in any anthology. It was also notable that it included an example of drama -- Royall Tyler's The Contrast.... read more

Reviewed by Stefan Schöberlein, Assistant Professor, Marshall University on 2/5/20

One of the key issues here is the odd overarching narrative of the volume: it tells a history of ideology and nation building (“Becoming American”) that follows historical chronology, somewhat oddly centered around the Declaration of Independence... read more

Reviewed by Shyam Sriram, Visiting Assistant Professor , Butler University on 1/18/20

At over 1,500 pages - yes, you read that right - this OER text is literally "Dr. Kurant's Opus." I wanted to write about how much I enjoyed this text and why I wish I could have thrown it in the face of those who love to start the American story... read more

Reviewed by Worth Weller, Lecturer, Trine University on 11/1/19

Beginning with a thorough explanation of Native American and European explorative accounts that puts this period in its imperialistic context, Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution covers... read more

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Pre- and Early Colonial Literature
  • Part Two: Seventeenth Century English Colonial Literature
  • Part Three: Revolutionary and Early National Period Literature
  • Part Four: Nineteenth Century Romanticism and Transcendentalism

About the Book

The University of North Georgia Press and Affordable Learning Georgia bring you Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution. Featuring sixty-nine authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the diverse voices in early American literature. This completely-open anthology will connect students to the conversation of literature that is embedded in American history and has helped shaped its culture.


  • Contextualizing introductions from Pre- and Early Colonial Literature to Early American Romanticism
  • Over 70 historical images
  • In-depth biographies of each author
  • Instructional Design, including Reading and Review Questions

This textbook is an open Educational Resource. It can be reused, remixed, and reedited freely without seeking permission.

About the Contributors


Wendy Kurant, Ph.D., teaches Early American Literature, American Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, and Southern Literature at the University of North Georgia (UNG). Her research interests center on new Historicism and depictions of the South and the Civil War in Literature. She has taught at UNG since 2005.