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Testimony: The United States 1885-1915: Recitative, by Charles Reznikoff

Black Sparrow Press9781567925319

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A milestone of modern poetry, American history comes to life in the actual words of victims and criminals in its courts.

Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Charles Reznikoff's book-length poem sets forth a stark panorama of late 19th and early 20th century America--the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease.

 In radically stripped-down language of tremendous intensity, Reznikoff's poem is an unforgettable reading experience. This edition also includes Reznikoff's prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by critic and essayist Eliot Weinberger.