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John Dos Passos: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey Paperback – January 26, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"This model biography will be important to any study of the literary history and intellectual ferment of that extraordinary era from the Great War to midcentury" (LJ 10/1/80). Luddington here follows Dos Passos through his artistic endeavors and political leanings, which led him into disfavor. That, however, has passed. Still a "clearly definitive work," this edition contains a new introduction by the author.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (January 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786705272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786705276
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,720,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Townsend Ludington's 1980 and Virginia Spencer Carr's 1984 volumes weigh in about the same, over five hundred pages of closely printed text. I have the hardcovers, although both biographies have appeared in paperback reprints, Ludington's a decade ago and Carr a few years back. Despite his earlier works being edited by Ludington in three handsome installments in the Library of America series in the past few years, even these languish, absent even from the giant city libraries near me. Outside of nods to the USA trilogy or maybe "Manhattan Transfer" or in a pinch, "Three Soldiers," not many readers bother with him.

Conventional wisdom, shared even by his admirers, tends to denigrate his later novels and histories and biographies, after his gradual embrace of "middle-class liberalism" after his disillusionment with the manipulation of the Left by Stalinists in the 1920s and 1930s. None of his works remain in print which were written after his fall from favor with the Left. The Library of America selections span the twenties and thirties, and it's for his rendering of the ideas, events, and trends of the first three decades of the last century that Dos Passos will be remembered. Like many writers who outlasted their early impact and kept at it, he resented being labelled the "USA" author forty years later, but without this contribution to American literature, there'd be no pair of hefty biographies on my shelf or any other that matter over a century after his birth.

Few today may read Dos Passos, at least in America, but as with Jack London, Upton Sinclair, or James T.
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Format: Hardcover
Townsend Ludington's 1980 and Virginia Spencer Carr's 1984 volumes weigh in about the same, over five hundred pages of closely printed text. I have the hardcovers, although both biographies have appeared in paperback reprints, Ludington's a decade ago and Carr a few years back. Despite his earlier works being edited by Ludington in three handsome installments in the Library of America series in the past few years, even these languish, absent even from the giant city libraries near me. Outside of nods to the USA trilogy or maybe "Manhattan Transfer" or in a pinch, "Three Soldiers," not many readers bother with him.

Conventional wisdom, shared even by his admirers, tends to denigrate his later novels and histories and biographies, after his gradual embrace of "middle-class liberalism" after his disillusionment with the manipulation of the Left by Stalinists in the 1920s and 1930s. None of his works remain in print which were written after his fall from favor with the Left. The Library of America selections span the twenties and thirties, and it's for his rendering of the ideas, events, and trends of the first three decades of the last century that Dos Passos will be remembered. Like many writers who outlasted their early impact and kept at it, he resented being labelled the "USA" author forty years later, but without this contribution to American literature, there'd be no pair of hefty biographies on my shelf or any other that matter over a century after his birth.

Few today may read Dos Passos, at least in America, but as with Jack London, Upton Sinclair, or James T.
Read more ›
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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