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Look Inside The American 1930s

The American 1930s
A Literary History


  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521516402

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • Beginning with the stock market crash of 1929 and ending with America's entry into the Second World War, the long Depression decade was a period of immense social, economic and political turmoil. In response, writers as various as John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill, Langston Hughes, Pearl S. Buck and others looked to the past to make sense of the present. In this important new study of the 1930s, the distinguished cultural historian Peter Conn traces the extensive and complex engagement with the past that characterized the imaginative writing of the decade. Moving expertly between historical events and literature, Conn includes discussions of historical novels, plays and poems, biographies and autobiographies, as well as factual and imaginary works of history. Mapping the decade's extraordinary intellectual range with authority and flair, The American 1930s is a widely anticipated contribution to American literary studies.

    • An important revisionist history of literature of the Depression era by the author of Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography
    • Explores the diversity of literature produced, including Faulkner, O'Neill, Dos Passos, Hughes and Buck
    • Includes a number of illustrations and a timeline of important events of the 1930s
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Conn's achievement lies in his deft management of a wealth of material … a valuable reference book for current and future generations of scholars in American studies.' Journal of American Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521516402
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: history and literary history
    a cultural and political timeline
    1. Farewell to the twenties
    2. Looking for America: the presence of the past
    3. Lost and found: historical fictions
    4. Backward glances: biography and autobiography
    5. The Southern past
    6. Black memory
    7. History and the party line
    Epilogue: the world of tomorrow and the world of yesterday
    Appendix: literary prizes and bestsellers.

  • Author

    Peter Conn, University of Pennsylvania
    Peter Conn is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

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