Melville's Monumental Imagination explores the connection between the contested 19th century American monument tradition and one of the nation's most revered authors, Herman Melville (1819-1891). The book was written to fill a void in recent Melville scholarship. To date, there has not been a monograph that focuses exclusively on Melville's incorporation of monuments in his fictional world. The book charts the territory of Melville's novels in order to provide a trajectory of the monumental image in one particular literary form. This feature allows the reader to gradually see the monumental image as an important marker that sheds light into Melville's eventual abandonment of long fiction. Melville's Monumental Imagination combines literary analysis and cultural criticism for a long neglected aspect of our nation's iconic development in statuary.