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Raising The Wild Flag: E. B. White, World Government, and Local Cosmopolitanism in the Postwar Moment

Abstract

This essay argues that the writer E. B. White, best known for his literary essays and children’s books, also had a significant but neglected career as a political writer. It considers his writings, during and just after World War II, on the subject of world government, and argues that he made the case for world federation by way of a novel model of cosmopolitanism that results from love of place and country rather than from dispensing with them. It considers the reception of his 1946 book The Wild Flag and the productive tension between White’s skepticism about political advocacy and his attempt to imagine a public for world government as constituted through his vision of cosmopolitanism.

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