By the early twentieth century, as Woodrow Wilson would later
declare, the United States had become both the literal embodiment
of all the earth's peoples and a nation representing all other
nations and cultures through its ethnic and cultural diversity.
This idea of connection with all peoples, Nathaniel Cadle argues,
allowed American literary writers to circulate their work
internationally, in turn promoting American literature and also the
nation itself. Reexamining the relationship between Progressivism
and literary realism, Cadle demonstrates that the narratives
constructed by American writers asserted a more active role for the
United States in world affairs and helped to shift global influence
from Europe to North America.
From the novels of Henry James, William Dean Howells, and Abraham
Cahan to the political and social writings of Woodrow Wilson and W.
E. B. Du Bois, Cadle identifies a common global engagement through
which realists and Progressives articulated a stronger and more
active cultural, political, and social role for the United