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American Studiesby Louis Menand
Synopses & Reviews
At each step of this journey through American cultural history, Louis Menand has an original point to make: he explains the real significance of William James's nervous breakdown, and of the anti-Semitism in T. S. Eliot's writing. He reveals the reasons for the remarkable commercial successes of William Shawn's New Yorker and William Paley's CBS. He uncovers the connection between Larry Flynt's Hustler and Jerry Falwell's evangelism, between the atom bomb and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. He locates the importance of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer, Pauline Kael, Christopher Lasch, and Rolling Stone magazine. And he lends an ear to Al Gore in the White House as the Starr Report is finally presented to the public.
Like his critically acclaimed bestseller, The Metaphysical Club, American Studies is intellectual and cultural history at its best: game and detached, with a strong curiosity about the political underpinnings of ideas and about the reasons successful ideas insinuate themselves into the culture at large. From one of our leading thinkers and critics, known both for his "sly wit and reportorial high-jinks [and] clarity and rigor" (The Nation), these essays are incisive, surprising, and impossible to put down.
This collection of review essays "demonstrates Menand's status as his generation's premier critical talent" ("Los Angeles Times"). From this thinker, known both for his "sly wit and reportorial high-jinks [and] clarity and rigor" ("The Nation"), these essays are incisive, surprising, and impossible to put down.
About the Author
Louis Menand is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club and Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a staff writer at The New Yorker.
Table of Contents
William James and the Case of the Epileptic Patient
The Principles of Oliver Wendell Holmes
T.S. Eliot and the Jews
Richard Wright: the Hammer and the Nail
The Long Shadow of James B. Conant
The Last Emperor: William S. Paley
A Friend Writes: The Old New Yorker
Norman Mailer in His Time
Life in the Stone Age
The Popist: Pauline Kael
Christopher Lasch's Quarrel with Liberalism
Lust in Action: Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt
Laurie Anderson's United States
The Mind of Al Gore
The Reluctant Memorialist: Maya Lin
What Our Readers Are Saying
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