“A landmark in literary and cultural studies. Veitch considers the crucial decade of the 1930s in light of the work of Nathanael West; the result is a sweeping revision, not only of West’s achievement but of the broad social, aesthetic, and intellectual movements that shaped modern America. It is perhaps the best analysis from within of the Depression Decade, a comprehensive overview of the influence in this country of dada and surrealism, a compelling analysis of the dynamics of mass culture, and the best study we have of the achievement and significance of Nathanael West.”—Sacvan Bercovitch, Carswell Professor of American and English Literature, Harvard University
“Sophisticated.… Veitch’s great virtue is his ability to place West within a complex web of issues relating to the production of social knowledge and the problem of representation. In doing so, he gives us a fresh view of West and of the period as a whole.”—Miles Orvell, author of After the Machine: Visual Arts & the Erasing of Cultural Boundaries
“A…brilliant contribution to Nathanael West studies and American studies more generally.”—Dickran Tashjian, author of A Boatload of Madmen: Surrealism and the American Avant-Garde, 1920-1950
Jonathan Veitch was professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is now chairman of humanities at the New School for Social Research in New York. This is his first book.