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April 01 , 2010

Letters From an American Farmer


Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur (1735-1813), a French-American writer, was responsible for the first American novel deemed successful throughout Europe. With "Letters From an American Farmer", Crèvecoeur depicted the newly settled America as a country, and not just a system of colonies. This epistolary novel gave America an identity, expounding on the concept of The American Dream, with its themes of equal opportunity and self-determination, while also exploring the damage and conflict caused by slavery, an institution to which Crèvecoeur was strongly opposed. "Letters From an American Farmer" begins idealistically, the first few letters written in an idealistic tone, then expands to paint a full and vivid picture of a society in a state of turmoil, ravaged by civilization. This work has been translated into several languages, a landmark literary achievement, as it helped transform the "New World" into America in the minds of Europeans.

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