John Dos Passos: USA

John Dos Passos: USA

Hardcover(New Edition)



Unique among American books for its epic scope and panoramic social sweep, U.S.A. has long been acknowledged as a monument of modern fiction. Now The Library of America presents an exclusive one-volume edition of this enduring masterwork by John Dos Passos, including for the first time detailed notes and a chronicle of the world events that serve as a backdrop.

In the novels that make up the trilogy—The 42nd Parallel1919, and The Big Money—Dos Passos creates an unforgettable collective portrait of America, shot through with sardonic comedy and brilliant social observation. He interweaves the careers of his characters and the events of their time with a narrative verve and breathtaking technical skill that make U.S.A. among the most compulsively readable of modern classics.

A startling range of experimental devices captures the textures and background noises of twentieth-century life: “Newsreels” with blaring headlines; autobiographical “Camera Eye” sections with poetic stream-of-consciousness; “biographies” evoking emblematic historical figures like J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, John Reed, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorstein Veblen, and the Unknown Soldier. Holding everything together is sheer storytelling power, tracing dozens of characters from the Spanish-American War to the onset of the Depression.

The U.S.A. trilogy is filled with American speech: labor radicals and advertising executives, sailors and stenographers, interior decorators and movie stars. Their crisscrossing destinies take in wars and revolutions, desperate love affairs and harrowing family crises, corrupt public triumphs and private catastrophes, in settings that include the trenches of World War I, insurgent Mexico, Hollywood studios in the silent era, Wall Street boardrooms, and the tumultuous streets of Boston just before the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.

The volume contains newly researched chronologies of Dos Passos’s life and of world events cited in U.S.A., notes, and an essay on textual selection.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781883011147
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 08/28/1996
Series: Library of America John Dos Passos Edition Series , #2
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 1312
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 8.15(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

John Dos Passos (1896–1970) was born in Chicago and graduated from Harvard in 1916. His service as an ambulance driver in Europe at the end of World War I led him to write Three Soldiers in 1919, the first in a series of works that established him as one of the most prolific, inventive, and influential American writers of the twentieth century.

This volume was edited by Townsend Ludington, Cary C. Boshamer Professor of English and American Studies at the University of North Carolina and author of John Dos Passos: A Twentieth Century Odyssey, and Daniel Aaron (1912-2016), Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University and a founder of The Library of America.

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John Dos Passos: USA 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Dos Passos rode the rails as a hobo with former CBS new commetator Eric Severed. This fiction is woven intricately with factual American History never found in classroom text. It includes accounts of Lt. Dwight Eisenhower participating in a massacre of American WW I veterans on the White House lawn; Henry Ford's employees machine gunning down American citizens during the great depression who were looking for jobs. This work is a must read for anyone seriosly interested in US history. One of my favorite trilogies of all time.
cogitno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am generally not attracted to experimental literature; form tends to overpower characterisation and plot. Nor am I attracted to this period of literature as it is simultaneously historical and contemporary, and my powers of discrimination are inadequate to the task of a taking up a rational readers perspective. The USA trilogy is the exception. It is throws up a discordant stream of images of the (then) contemporary world, but offers neither judgement nor revelation. I don't hold with the common view that it is written from a leftist perspective, or from any political perspective at all. The subject matter is the stuff of the newspaper headlines of the day, and John Dos Passos has simply humanised these headlines.The USA Trilogy has often been described as a "put-downable" book. And while I didn't find it so, it is better to be forewarned than disappointed. Sample it before you buy.I consider it one of the Great books of the 20th Century. An almost forgotten masterpiece, and I wish it had been one of my countrymen who had written it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago