Includes bibliographical references (pages 190-215) and index.
Pt. I. The New Criticism and its critics. 1. Contemporary responses to the New Criticism. 2. The historical context of the New Criticism. 3. Before the New Criticism -- Pt. II. The formation of the New Criticism. 4. John Crowe Ransom: the social relations of aesthetic activity. 5. Allen Tate: the social organization of literature. 6. Robert Penn Warren: against propaganda and irresponsibility -- Conclusion: the analysis of a Southern poet -- Pt. III. The establishment of the New Criticism. 7. The origins of academic involvement. 8. Understanding literature: textbooks and the distribution of the New Criticism. 9. The form of criticism -- Pt. IV. The development of the New Criticism. 10. John Crowe Ransom: the isolation of aesthetic activity. 11. Allen Tate: the man of letters and the cold war. 12. Robert Penn Warren: literature and social engagement -- Conclusion: Modernism and postmodernism within the American academy. 13. The professionalization of literary study.
14. The New Critical intervention. 15. Cultural criticism and postmodernity.