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Thurston combines close textual reading of the poems with research into their historical context to reveal how these four poets deployed the resources of tradition and experimentation to contest and redefine political common sense. In the process, he demonstrates that the aesthetic censure under which much partisan writing has labored needs dramatic revision. Although each of these poets worked with different forms and toward different ends, Thurston shows that their strategies succeed as poetry. He argues that partisan poetry demands reflection not only on how we evaluate poems but also on what we value in poems and, therefore, which poems we elevate.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: American poetry 20th century History and criticism, Politics and literature United States History 20th century, Political poetry, American History and criticism, World War, 1914-1918 Influence, World War, 1939-1945 Causes