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Great American Authors Since 1650

Presented by Jane Kaczmarek, Great American Authors Since 1650 presents the rich, literary tradition of American storytelling...No country has produced a more impressive group of writers in a shorter period of time than America. It has been an incredible journey of finding the nation's voice, beginning with the first colonists in the 17th century to a small cadre of brilliant, 19th century, New England writers who defined the unique American experience and soul, to the whole country speaking out in the 20th Century against war, poverty, racism and alienation.
  • Title ID 19-GAA
  • English, American Literature
  • 8 Programs
  • 20 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Released in 2007 by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
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Included Programs
Supplemental Files
Reviews

Included Programs

1650 - 1845Running time is 28 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this first program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1650 - Anne Bradstreet, America's First Poet
Anne Bradstreet was America's first poet.
1702 - Cotton Mather Publishes The Ecclesiastical History of New England
Cotton Mather's history of the, Massachusetts Bay Colony and Puritans would be important to understanding the founding of America.
1773 - Phillis Wheatley becomes America's First Black Woman Poet
Phillis Wheatley, America's first Black Poet, wrote "On Being Brought From Africa to America," which established as a great colonial poet.
1819 - Washington Irving Publishes Rip Van Winkle
Washington Irving, the American author, wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
1826 - James Fenimore Cooper Publishes Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper, wrote Last of the Mohicans, which introduced the archetype character of Natty Bumpo, also known as Hawkeye and Deerslayer, the first truly American character by an American Author.
1836 - Ralph Waldo Emerson Initiates American Transcendentalism with Nature
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the founded of American Transcendentalism, was an American essayist who wrote The American Scholar.
1845 - Edgar Allan Poe Publishes The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Raven", one of the masterpieces of American poetry.

1846 - 1855Running time is 30 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this second program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1849 - Henry David Thoreau originates America's Proud History of Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau wrote Walden and was famous for his principles of Civil Disobedience.
1850 - Nathaniel Hawthorne Writes The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist who wrote The Scarlet Letter.
1851 - Herman Melville's Moby Dick is Published
Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, Captain Ahab and Billy Budd. Was an American novelist.
1852 - Emily Dickinson Publishes First Poem
Emily Dickinson was the 19th century's greatest woman poet.
1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe Writes Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, the leading Abolitionist tale against, slavery and owning slaves.
1855 - Frederick Douglass Publishes My Bondage and My Freedom
Frederick Douglass was a black author whose anti slavery book, My Bondage and My Freedom, was a call for abolition.
1855 - Walt Whitman Publishes Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass and was a poet, who practiced transcendentalism.
1855 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Writes The Song of Hiawatha
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote The Song of Hiawatha, The Wreck of the Hesperus and Paul Revere's Ride, was an American poet.

1856 - 1906Running time is 26 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this third program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1868 - Louisa May Alcott writes Little Women
Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, was a great novelist who helped establish the American women's identity.
1878 - Henry James Writes Daisy Miller
Henry James wrote Daisy Miller, and was the first novelist to write American psychological novel.
1885 - Mark Twain Publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain, who wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was one of the 19th century's American Humorists, whose real name was Samuel Clemens.
1906 - Upton Sinclair's Novel The Jungle is Published
Upton Sinclair writes The Jungle, as muckrakers tell the truth about the nation.
1906 - The Whole Country Speaks-Stephen Crane, O. Henry, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London
Stephen Crane, O Henry, Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Jack London, Sherwood Anderson were poets and novelists who wrote about the country in The Red Badge of Courage, Gift of the Magi, Sister Carrie, An American Tragedy, Death Comes for the Archbishop, Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Winesburg, Ohio.

1907 - 1925Running time is 28 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this fourth program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1913 - Poet William Carlos Williams Publishes His First Book of Poems, The Tempers
William Carlos Williams was a leading Hispanic poet who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work.
1914 - Carl Sandburg Publishes his Poem Chicago
Carl Sandburg wrote "Chicago" and became the first poet of the new realism school of American poetry.
1920 - Edith Wharton Wins a Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton wrote The Age of Innocence, and was the first woman novelist to win the Pulitzer Prize.
1922 - The Innovators; e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Henry Miller
e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and Henry Miller were poets and novelists known for their avant garde writing styles seen in, The Hollow men, The Wasteland, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn among others.
1923 - Robert Frost Publishes Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost who wrote, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", became the most beloved poet of the first half of the 20th century.
1925 - F. Scott Fitzgerald Writes The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, beginning the lost generation era of writers.

1926 - 1939Running time is 29 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this fifth program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1929 - Thomas Wolfe Writes Look Homeward Angel
Thomas Wolfe was a novelist of the lost generation and wrote Look Homeward, Angel, Of Time and the River, and You Can't Go Home Again.
1929 - William Faulkner Showcases the South with The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner, a novelist of the lost generation, wrote "The Sound and the Fury", "Absalom, Absalom!", and "The Reivers"
1930 - Sinclair Lewis Becomes the First American to Win the Nobel Prize for Literature
Sinclair Lewis wrote, "Elmer Gantry", "Main Street", "Babbit", and was the first American novelist to win a Nobel Prize.
1931 - Pearl Buck Writes The Good Earth
Pearl Buck, author of the "The Good Earth", was a novelist who wrote about China.
1936 - Playwright Eugene O'Neill Wins Nobel Prize for Literature
Eugene O'Neill's plays "Long Day's Journey into Night", "Mourning Becomes Electra, and the Homecoming", made him a great American playwright.
1939 - Steinbeck Writes The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck, wrote "The Grapes of Wrath",, "Of Mice and Men", "East of Eden" and "Travels with Charley" and was a great novelist of the lost generation.

1940 - 1949Running time is 29 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this sixth program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1940 - Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls is Published
Ernest Hemingway wrote "For Whom the Bell Tolls", Rises", "A Farewell to Arms" and "The Old Man and the Sea" and was the greatest novelist of the lost generation writers.
1941 - James Thurber Writes The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
James Thurber, who wrote The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, was a great American humorist.
1947-1953 - Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov Usher in the Era of Popular Science Ficti
Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, were masters of Science Fiction, writing classics such as "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Foundation Series", "I, Robot", "The Illustrated Man", "Martian Chronicles", and "Fahrenheit 451."
1948 - Tennessee Williams Wins His First Pulitzer Prize for A Street Car Named Desire
After Tennessee Williams, wrote "A Street Car Named Desire", he became the greatest American playwright, and the followed it up with "The Glass Menagerie" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
1949 - Arthur Miller Produced Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible" made him a leading American playwright, while his character, Willie Loman, became one of the best known characters in American literature.

1950 - 1957Running time is 28 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this seventh program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1950 - Gwendolyn Brooks Wins the Pulitzer Prize
Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author, inspired the idea of 'Black is beautiful.'
1951 - Salinger and Plath Set the Stage for the Baby Boomer Generation
J.D. Salinger wrote "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Franny and Zooey" while Sylvia Plath wrote The Bell Jar, making Salinger a great novelist and Plath a great poet, and establishing Holden Caulfield as a great character of literature while Plath's poetry helped spur the women's movement.
1952 - Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin Speak for the American Black Male
Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin were black American writers after the Harlem Renaissance who wrote, "Invisible Man", "Go tell it on the Mountain," and as novelists they helped the black cause of civil rights
1957 - Jack Kerouac Begins the Beat Generation in American Literature
Jack Kerouac. The leader of the Beat Generation, wrote "On the Road", about a real life friend Neal Cassidy, while Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Ken Kesey, wrote classics of beat literature such as "A Coney Island of the Mind" and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.
1957 - Dr Seuss Writes The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss, who wrote "The Cat in the Hat", "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", was a great American humorist.

1958 - PresentRunning time is 29 minutes

US Authors and US writers, are examined in this eighth program on authors and writers creating the unique American voice.

Chapter List
1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's Play A Raisin in the Sun is Produced
Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, was a woman author and American playwright who opened the door for other Black playwrights on Broadway.
1961 - Joseph Heller Writes Catch-22
Joseph Heller wrote "Catch 22", while fellow American Novelist, Philip Roth, wrote "Portnoy's Complaint."
1966 - Truman Capote Writes In Cold Blood
Truman Capote, who wrote "In Cold Blood", "Other Voices, Other Rooms", and "Breakfast at Tiffany's", was an American novelist.
1969 - Kurt Vonnegut Writes Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut, "Slaughterhouse Five," "Cat's Cradle" and "Ice Nine," was an American novelist, who wrote Science Fiction.
1982 - John Updike's Rabbit is Rich Wins Pulitzer Prize for Literature
John Updike wrote "Rabbit is Rich", "Rabbit At Rest", "Rabbit, Rum", making him a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist.
1989 - Asian American Amy Tan Publishes The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, is an American novelist writing about her Chinese culture.
1993 - Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and August Wilson Redefine the Black Experience
Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, August Wilson, were great black American novelists and an American playwright, who wrote "Beloved", "The Color Purple" and the "Pittsburgh Cycle."
2007- Cormac McCarthy Wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Road
Cormac McCarthy, who wrote "The Road", was an American novelist, famous for writing "All the Pretty Horses."

Supplemental Files

Authors Blackline Master Quiz 3A
Authors Blackline Master Quiz 4A
Authors Blackline Master Quiz 5A
Authors Blackline Master Quiz 6A
Authors Blackline Master Quiz 7A
Authors Blackline Master Quiz 8A
Blackline Master Quiz 1A
Blackline Master Quiz 2A
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Eight
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Five
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Four
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program One
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Seven
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Six
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Three
Great American Authors Teachers Guide Program Two
Great American Authors Timeline
MARC Records for GAA
MARC records for the Full Series GAA, Great American Authors Since 1650
Reading List 1950 to Present
Reading List for 1856 to1925

Reviews

A useful, well-organized introduction to American literature to introduce or recap important literary periods and authors.
Booklist