Alger, Horatio, Jr.



The author of over one hundred novels, Horatio Alger, Jr., has come to be associated with a rags-to-riches narrative that combines moral uplift with social mobility. In the majority of his novels, a young, destitute street boy is discovered by an older, wealthy man who enlists the boy's services, offers assistance and guidance, and enables him to ascend the social ladder. Alger's novels address the consequences of urbanization and economic transformation for changing notions of manhood in Gilded Age America.

Alger's emphasis on paternalistic relations as a means of uplift may have a biographical background: In 1866, Alger had to leave his post as minister of a Unitarian church in Brewster, Massachusetts, over charges of having sexually abused young boys. Upon arriving in New York, Alger ...

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