Detestable as Joint-Stock Companies or Nations: Melville and the International
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Tally reviews Loren Goldner’s Herman Melville: Between Charlemagne and the Antemosaic Cosmic King, which posits that Melville was the American Marx, exposing the crisis of bourgeois ideology in the revolutionary period around 1848. In this, Goldner follows a tradition of Marxian scholarship of Melville, notably including C.L.R. James, Michael Paul Rogin, and Cesare Casarino. Tally concludes that Goldner’s argument, while interesting, is limited by its persistent belief in an American exceptionalism that prevents it from recognizing the postnational force of Melville’s novels.