"Cohen, who does not shy away from challenging the accredited theorists of the period, such as Fredric Jameson and Linda Hutcheon, makes a case for the contemporary historical novel's validity as a form fit for the uncertainties of the postmodern era" - Contemporary Literature "What emerges from [Cohen's] consistently impressive and often surprisingly fresh readings is an argument for a decade of fiction that engaged not only the ambiguous aftermath of the Cold War but also the ambiguous legacy of the fiction produced during it." - Twentieth-Century Literature
"Samuel Cohen's After the End of History reminds us that in the decade before September 11 several major figures in American literature, including Roth, Pynchon, Morrison, and DeLillo, published novels on historical themes. Cohen's insightful and sophisticated reading of these works reveals how these novelists, in writing about history, helped to make history. This is an important book for anyone interested in historical narrative and American culture." —Louis P. Masur, author, The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America
“Samuel Cohen’s After the End of History offers deeply insightful readings of eight major American novels of the 1990s and early twenty-first century. With their historical focus, Cohen convincingly argues, these novelists offered penetrating critiques of triumphalist and edenic myths about America’s distant and more recent past. In doing so, they cast a skeptical eye on the nation’s edgy post–Cold War mood and reflected uneasily on what might lie ahead. Cohen brings to his work sharply honed critical skills, a generous and humane spirit, and a refreshingly accessible prose style. I thoroughly enjoyed this fine book.”—Paul Boyer, author, By the Bomb’s Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age
“Cohen is blessed with a lucid style, and he knows the work of his writers—Pynchon, Roth, Morrison, O'Brien, Didion, among others—in real depth. Without question-begging, ellipticism, or modish opacity, he engages in sophisticated arguments and offers fresh, subtle, theoretically informed readings of important texts. Stimulating, thoughtful, and persuasive, After the End of History will be an important book.”—David Cowart, author, Trailing Clouds: Immigrant Fiction in Contemporary America and Don DeLillo: The Physics of Language
About the Author
Samuel Cohen, assistant professor of English at the University of Missouri, is editor of 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology and the forthcoming Literature: The Human Experience.