The American Dream and the Popular Novel: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The American Dream and the Popular Novel

1st Edition

By Elizabeth Long


252 pages

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Paperback: 9781138105799
pub: 2019-06-24
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Hardback: 9781138105768
pub: 2017-10-26
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315101743
pub: 2017-10-23
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This title, originally published in 1985, examines conceptions of success and the good life expressed in bestselling novels – ranging from historical sagas and spy thrillers to more serious works by Updike, Bellows, Steinbeck and Mailer – published from 1945 to 1975. Using these popular books as cultural evidence, Elizabeth Long argues that the meaning of the American dream has changed dramatically, but in a more complex fashion than has been recognised by that country’s most prominent social critics. Her study presents a challenge to prevailing social-scientific views of contemporary American culture, and represents, both in theory and method, an important contribution to the study of culture and social criticism.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction 2. Success in Bestselling Novels: The Social Context of Thematic Content 3. Bestselling Novels 1945-1955: From Entrepreneurial Adventure to Corporate-Suburban Compromise 4. Bestselling Novels 1956-1968: The Varieties of Self-Fulfilment – The Goal Achieved 5. Bestselling Novels 1969-1975: The Failure of Success 6. The Social Critics 7. Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The American Novel

The 16 volumes in this set, originally published between 1963 and 1996, explore the American Novel, with a focus on several of the most influential authors in U.S. history. The volumes examine the works of Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The titles in this set also explore the recurring themes in American Literature, particularly that of the ‘American Dream’. This set will be of interest to students of Literature and American History.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General