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The first decades of the twentieth century saw child labor laws passed, nursery schools built, and playgrounds popularized. The child was widely treated as the soul center of past values and future progress. Representations of Childhood in American Modernism tells the unpopular story of American modernism’s efforts to challenge society’s valuation of childhood. Though Stein, Du Bois, Hughes, and Barnes all wrote about and for children, these texts are largely unknown or understudied. Additionally, histories of childhood and children’s literature have routinely skipped modernism. Yet modernism’s concerns about idyllic childhood were insightful and prophetic, and they were likewise crucial in the development of modernism itself.