Published in 1782, "Letters from an American Farmer" painted a vivid portrait of the American scene, from New England seafaring life to Southern plantation culture. More popular abroad than at home, the work provided Europeans with their chief impression of American landscapes, peoples, institutions, values, and problems. In "Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America" Crevecoeur explored some of the unpleasant truths about the nation's birth pangs. These essays described the hardships of frontier life, the threat of Indian raids, and the bloody unrest between fanatical patriots and back-country loyalists.
Albert E. Stone is a professor of English and chairman of the American Studies program at the University of Iowa. He is the author of The Innocent Eye: Childhood in Mark Twain's Imagination and the editor of The American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays, as well as Twentieth-Century Interpretations of The Ambassadors.