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London UndergroundA Cultural Geography$
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David Ashford

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318597

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318597.001.0000

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Lord of the Dynamos

The Lord of the Dynamos

The American Invasion of the Tube-Network in Theodore Dreiser's The Stoic (1947)

(p.45) 2 The Lord of the Dynamos
London Underground

David Ashford

Liverpool University Press

The anxieties relating to invasive movement aroused by the realisation of the circulation paradigm were borne out at the turn of the century when rapacious and corrupt millionaires from the United States fought it out for total control of the capital's infrastructure. This traumatic violation of a transit-network with such enormous national resonance has ensured that the Tube has served as an arena for covert trans-national conflict in British spy-fiction ever since. In Chapter Two it is shown that, when novelist Theodore Dreiser wished to stage his own metaphorical invasion of the United Kingdom in WWII, it was to this fraught spatial history that he returned. In his final novel The Stoic (1947) Dreiser depicts a pivotal moment in the history of the relationship between the United States and the British Empire: the moment the process of globalisation for so long exported by the imperial capital at last began to turn back on itself. This casestudy of the book and its historical background argues that Dreiser's last book provides a valuable and timely insight into the irrational nationalist impulses that persist beneath (and animate) the apparently trans-national movements of global capital.


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