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Botkin, Benjamin A.

By: Jerrold Hirsch | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2020 | Length:   5 | DOI: |
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Benjamin A. Botkin (1901–1975) pursued folklore studies in the academy (1921–1939), through service in the U.S. federal government (1938–1945), and as a freelance writer (1945–1975). Throughout his career, he sought to achieve a place for folklore as a recognized and significant part of American literature and culture. He formulated a democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive form of cultural identity that embraced the nation’s different regions, races, and classes; showed the interrelationship between folk, popular, and high culture; and acknowledged and celebrated the nation’s cultural diversity. The publication of his A Treasury of American Folklore (1944), soon followed by numerous other treasuries, gave him the largest audience any American folklorist has ever had. In pursuing his goals, he sought to convince the general public that folklore was ...

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