"[F]ew will find this book failing to provoke thought about its novelists and about American ideas of freedom."
— Robert Donahoo , Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas
"[I]nsightful readings. . . . [An] outstanding study. . . ." — Marc Conner , South Atlantic Review
"Patell’s discussion of Morrison and Pynchon forms an illuminating part of a significant and, I think, necessary unfolding scholarly dialogue as we seek to understand more fully American political traditions. For this, and irrespective of any ideological differences we might harbor, Negative Liberties very much deserves our studied attention and indeed respect."
— Jerry A. Varsava , Contemporary Literature
"Patell's readings of Pynchon and Morrison are . . . succinct and useful. . . . [C]ompelling. . . ." — Jim Neighbors, Modern Fiction Studies
“Negative Liberties combines historical, literary, cultural, and political interests as it includes a historical study and critique of ‘individualism,’ excellent literary chapters devoted to fresh readings of Thomas Pynchon and Toni Morrison, and a political examination of the relationship of liberty and slavery. Inspired by Sacvan Bercovitch, Cyrus Patell’s book is a thoughtful contribution to American Studies.” — Werner Sollors, Harvard University
“Negative Liberties is a sophisticated study of the appeal of the ideology of individualism in the United States. It is a vast and widely considered topic, but Patell has something new to say about it. His unique contribution comes out of his understanding of the human reliance on storytelling and the creation of narratives. Ethical and deeply engaging, this book adds an important new dimension to ideological criticism in the United States.” — Priscilla Wald, author of Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form