In this formidable look at, Diane Bjorklund explores the historic nature of self-narrative. Inspecting over 100 American autobiographers revealed within the remaining centuries, she discusses now not best well known autobiographies comparable to Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie but in addition many difficult to understand ones comparable to a touring guide peddler, a minstrel, a resort proprietress, an itinerant preacher, a West Element cadet, and a hoopskirt cord producer. Bjorklund attracts at the colourful tales of those autobiographers to turn how their historic epoch shapes their understandings of self.

“A refreshingly welcome way to this exciting matter. . . . [Bjorklund’s] in depth and systematic way to her supply subject material is spectacular and enriches our working out of this very important matter.”—Virginia Quarterly Review

“Bjorklund research each well-known and difficult to understand writers, and her transparent prose taste and copious quotations supply perception into the various sides of the converting American self.” —Library Journal