Out of an agonizing American experience, the frail Scots author mined a treasure and carried it away with him
A student of an underappreciated literary genre selects some books that may change the way you see what you do.
A sampling of the wisdom of Americans from Ben Franklin to Cameron Crowe
In attempting to tell the story of our century by retrieving the subtlest nuances of the past, a historian makes an audacious foray into a new sort of literature
A LIFELONG FASCINATION with the stories of a famous pioneering family finally drove the writer to South Dakota in hopes of better understanding the prairie life Laura Ingalls Wilder lived there and later gave to the world.
ALBERT MURRAY SEES AMERICAN CULTURE AS AN incandescent fusion of European, Yankee, frontier, and black. And he sees what he calls the “blues idiom” as the highest expression of that culture.
People have been waiting for the great American novel ever since Civil War days. But John Dos Passos may have written it sixty years ago.
A newsman returns to a classic work by a famous predecessor and finds that Mark Sullivan’s vanished America has something to tell us
A BOLD NEW KIND OF COLLEGE COURSE BRINGS the student directly to the past, nonstop, overnight, in squalor and glory, for weeks on end
The American master of horror fiction was as peculiar in his life as he was in his writing
A distinguished scholar of American literature discusses why, after a career of study and reflection, he believes that Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman are bad for you
A TEXAS MARINE WHO DREW BEAUTIFULLY AND WROTE AS WELL AS HE DREW BECAME THE LAUREATE OF THE MEN WHO CHECKED THE LAST GREAT GERMAN OFFENSIVE. ALL BUT FORGOTTEN TODAY, HIS 1926 BESTSELLER REMAINS PERHAPS THE FINEST ACCOUNT OF AMERICANS IN THE GREAT WAR.
They cost five cents more than regular comic books, and the extra nickel was supposed to buy what we now call cultural literacy. But they were controversial from the very start.
J. L. O. Tedder missed the battle, but his peacetime pursuits are heroic enough
Theodore Dreiser’s stark realism brought the American novel into the twentieth century. He paid a heavy price for his candor.
It was bitter civil war, and a remarkable book offers us perhaps the most intimate picture we have of what it was like for the ordinary people who got caught in its terrible machinery
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most controversial historical novel in memory, the author of The Confessions of Nat Turner speaks of a novelist’s duty to history and fiction’s strange power not only to astonish but to enrage
“Good writers,” says the author, “write the kind of history good historians can’t or don’t write”
Fewer than half of O. Henry’s short stories actually take place in New York, but we still see the city through his eyes
For a hundred years now Americans have been reading as comedy Mark Twain’s dark indictment of chivalry, technology—and all mankind
Walt Whitman said, “The real war will never get in the books.” The critic and writer Paul Fussell feels that the same sanitizing of history that went on after the 1860s has erased the national memory of what World War II was really like.
The author walks us through literary Boston at its zenith. But Boston being what it is, we also come across the Revolution, ward politics, and the great fire.