Using romantic theories, Caton analyzes America's contemporary novel. Organized through the two sections of "Theory" and "Practice," Reading American Novels and Multicultural Aesthetics begins with a study of aesthetic form only to have it reveal the content of politics and history. This presentation immediately offers a unified platform for an interchange between multiple cultural and aesthetic positions. Romantic theory provides for an integrated examination of diversity, one that metaphorically fosters a solid, inclusive, and democratic legitimacy for intercultural communication. This politically astute cosmopolitan appreciation will generate an intriguing "cross-over" audience: from ethnic studies to American studies and from literary studies to romantic studies, this book will interest a range of readers.