Synopses & Reviews
"The Magnificent Ambersons
is perhaps Tarkington's best novel," wrote critic Van Wyck Brooks. "[It is] a typical story of an American family and town the great family that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city."
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize after it was first published in 1918, Tarkington's powerful social commentary traces America's economic growth through the declining fortunes of three generations of the successful and socially prominent Amberson family. Set in a fictional Midwestern town during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and#8212; the epic story follows the Ambersons' downward spiraling fortunes during a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America.
George Amberson Minafer, the arrogant heir to the family's wealth, illustrates the corrupting influence of greed and materialism at a time when the swiftly turning wheels of industry and commerce are overtaking old ways. Definitions of ambition, success, and loyalty are also changing. Almost overnight the prestige of the Ambersons irreversibly changes as well. An exciting chronicle of one family's accumulation of wealth and subsequent downfall, the book also paints a fascinating portrait of the forces that shaped modern American society.
The lives and changing fortunes of 3 generations of a once-powerful and socially prominent family are chronicled in this vivid tale of the corrupting influence of greed and materialism. As the wheels of industry and commerce rapidly usher in the early 20th century, ambition, success, loyalty, prominence and prestige for the Amberson family forever changes.
The chronicle of the lives and changing fortunes of three generations of a prosperous family, this social drama reflects America's changing face during the early twentieth century. Surpassed by a new breed of developers, financiers, and manufacturers, the pampered scion of Midwestern aristocrats begins his descent from the upper class.