Philip Roth and the American Liberal Tradition

Author: Andy Connolly

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 1498511813

Category: Political Science

Page: 292

View: 4741

This book offers a combined historical and aesthetic analysis of five novels from Philip Roth’s later career. It reads these works in the context of political, cultural, and literary developments in America from the New Deal to the present.
Posted in Political Science

The Liberal Tradition in America

An Interpretation of American Political Thought Since the Revolution

Author: Louis Hartz

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780156512695

Category: History

Page: 329

View: 4023

Views American democracy, revolution, and capitalism in the light of Western history
Posted in History

The Plot Against America

A Novel

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547345313

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 6697

When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh, in a nationwide radio address, publicly blamed the Jews for selfishly pushing America toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but upon taking office as the thirty-third president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe and virulent anti-Semitic policies he appeared to accept without difficulty. What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new book by Pulitzer Prize–winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family — and for a million such families all over the country — during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.
Posted in Fiction

American Pastoral

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547415974

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 7861

American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall - of a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. Seymour "Swede" Levov - a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father's Newark glove factory - comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even the most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. With vigorous realism, Roth takes us back to the conflicts and violent transitions of the 1960s. This is a book about loving - and hating - America. It's a book about wanting to belong - and refusing to belong - to America. It sets the desire for an American pastoral - a respectable life of space, calm, order, optimism, and achievement - against the indigenous American Berserk.
Posted in Fiction

Writing the Republic

Liberalism and Morality in American Political Fiction

Author: Anthony Hutchison

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231141386

Category: History

Page: 230

View: 7097

Attempts to challenge the argument that the American novel is antipolitical and condemn the absence of American literature in studies of the political novel. This book shows how our political fiction is informed by the complexities of the American political tradition. It repositions American novelists as serious political thinkers.
Posted in History

Afterlives of Modernism

Liberalism, Transnationalism, and Political Critique

Author: John Carlos Rowe

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1611688140

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 3950

In times of liberal despair it helps to have someone like John Carlos Rowe put things into perspective, in this case, with a collection of essays that asks the question, "Must we throw out liberalism's successes with the neoliberal bathwater?" Rowe first lays out a genealogy of early twentieth-century modernists, such as Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Ralph Ellison, with an eye toward stressing their transnationally engaged liberalism and their efforts to introduce into the literary avant-garde the concerns of politically marginalized groups, whether defined by race, class, or gender. The second part of the volume includes essays on the works of Harper Lee, Thomas Berger, Louise Erdrich, and Philip Roth, emphasizing the continuity of efforts to represent domestic political and social concerns. While critical of the increasingly conservative tone of the neoliberalism of the past quarter-century, Rowe rescues the value of liberalism's sympathetic and socially engaged intent, even as he criticizes modern liberalism's inability to work transnationally.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Portnoy's Complaint

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307744051

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 430

The groundbreaking novel that propelled its author to literary stardom: told in a continuous monologue from patient to psychoanalyst, Philip Roth's masterpiece draws us into the turbulent mind of one lust-ridden young Jewish bachelor named Alexander Portnoy. Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' (Spielvogel, O. "The Puzzled Penis," Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV, p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.
Posted in Fiction

A Political Companion to Philip Roth

Author: Claudia Franziska Brühwiler,Lee Trepanier

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813169305

Category: Political Science

Page: 298

View: 7761

Philip Roth is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's most prolific and acclaimed writers. Roth's first novel, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), received the National Book Award, and he followed this stunning debut with more than thirty books -- earning another National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. Throughout his career, Roth delighted in controversy but often denied that he sought a role as a public intellectual. His statements and vigorous support of suppressed writers in communist Czechoslovakia, however, tell a different story. In A Political Companion to Philip Roth, established and rising scholars explore the myriad political themes in the author's work. Several of the contributors examine Roth's writings on Jewish identity, Zionism, and American attitudes toward Israel, as well as the influence of his work in other countries. Others investigate Roth's articulation of the roles of gender and sexuality in US culture. This interdisciplinary examination offers a more complete portrait of Roth as a public intellectual and cultural icon. Not only will it fill a gap in scholarship, but it will also provide a broader perspective on the nature and purpose of the acclaimed writer's political thought.
Posted in Political Science

Insurrections of the Mind

100 Years of Politics and Culture in America

Author: Franklin Foer

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062340387

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 608

View: 9188

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of The New Republic, an extraordinary anthology of essays culled from the archives of the acclaimed and influential magazine. Founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann in 1914 to give voice to the growing progressive movement, The New Republic has charted and shaped the state of American liberalism, publishing many of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers. Insurrections of the Mind is an intellectual biography of this great American political tradition. In seventy essays, organized chronologically by decade, a stunning collection of writers explore the pivotal issues of modern America. Weighing in on the New Deal; America’s role in war; the rise and fall of communism; religion, race, and civil rights; the economy, terrorism, technology; and the women’s movement and gay rights, the essays in this outstanding volume speak to The New Republic’s breathtaking ambition and reach. Introducing each article, editor Franklin Foer provides colorful biographical sketches and amusing anecdotes from the magazine’s history. Bold and brilliant, Insurrections of the Mind is a celebration of a cultural, political, and intellectual institution that has stood the test of time. Contributors include: Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Philip Roth, Pauline Kael, Michael Lewis, Zadie Smith, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, James Wolcott, D. H. Lawrence, John Maynard Keynes, Langston Hughes, John Updike, and Margaret Talbot.
Posted in Literary Collections

Classical Liberalism and the Jewish Tradition

Author: Edward Alexander

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351324225

Category: Religion

Page: 173

View: 1909

The incongruence if not antagonism between modern liberalism and the Jewish sense of the world has been most notably articulated by Lionel Trilling. Certainly the imaginative limitations and intellectual smugness he discerned in his own ideological party found a parallel, in his view, in the embrace of liberalism by the American Jewish community. The consequences of that embrace entail both a superficial intellectual and religious culture and a misunderstanding of the social and political dimensions of Judaism. In Classical Liberalism and the Jewish Tradition, Edward Alexander engages in a wide-ranging exploration of the roots of the fundamental antagonism between liberalism and Jewish tradition from the nineteenth century to the present day. Central to Alexander's arguments is his incisive critique of the distortion of modern Judaism as a child of the Enlightenment and the notion that specifically Jewish concerns, whether with Zionism, the Holocaust, or sacred and secular writings, constitute a narrow and parochial betrayal of liberal interests. The chapters are divided among political, religious, and literary subjects. The opening chapter on Mill's ambivalent attitude toward the Jews establishes terms of conflict between Judaism and liberal secularism and universality as do chapters on the antisemitism of Thomas Arnold and Marx and the more ambiguous Jewish self-identification of Disraeli. Alexander examines such disparate topics as the hostility to the idea of a Jewish state on the part of numerous Israeli intellectuals, the disdain among liberals toward the specifically Jewish dimension of the Holocaust, and the capitulation of the Modern Language Association to the anti-Zionism of Edward Said. Turning to the uneasy status of Jewish religious texts and secular literature as sources of cultural revitalization, Alexander deals with the attempt by the Israeli scholar Adin Steinsaltz to bring the Talmud to the attention of contemporary Jewish readers and includes a chapter on his nineteenth-century precursor Emanuel Deutsch and his relationship to George Eliot. An analysis of Ruth Wisse's efforts to establish a modern Jewish literary canon is rounded out by chapters on two of the major figures of that canon: Isaac Bashevis Singer and Philip Roth. While diverse in subject matter, Classical Liberalism and the Jewish Tradition is consistent in its unapologetic advocacy of a Jewish point of view and in its depth of scholarship in tracing the historical roots of contemporary attitudes and ideologies.
Posted in Religion

I Married a Communist

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780547345369

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 4278

Radio actor Iron Rinn (born Ira Ringold) is a big Newark roughneck blighted by a brutal personal secret from which he is perpetually in flight. An idealistic Communist, a self-educated ditchdigger turned popular performer, a six-foot six-inch Abe Lincoln look-alike, he marries the nation's reigning radio actress and beloved silent-film star, the exquisite Eve Frame (born Chava Fromkin). Their marriage evolves from a glamorous, romantic idyll into a dispiriting soap opera of tears and treachery. And with Eve's dramatic revelation to the gossip columnist Bryden Grant of her husband's life of "espionage" for the Soviet Union, the relationship enlarges from private drama into national scandal. Set in the heart of the McCarthy era, the story of Iron Rinn's denunciation and disgrace brings to harrowing life the human drama that was central to the nation's political tribulations in the dark years of betrayal, the blacklist, and naming names. I Married a Communist is an American tragedy as only Philip Roth could write it.
Posted in Fiction

The Liberal Tradition in America

The Classic on the Causes and Effects of Liberal Thought in the U.S.

Author: Louis Hartz

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547541406

Category: History

Page: 348

View: 9789

This “brilliantly written” look at the original meaning of the liberal philosophy has become a classic of political science (American Historical Review). Winner of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award As the word “liberal” has been misused and its meaning diluted in recent decades, this study of American political thought since the Revolution is a valuable look at the “liberal tradition” that has been central to United States history. Louis Hartz, a professor of government at Harvard, shows how individual liberty, equality, and capitalism have been the values at the root of liberalism—and offers enlightening historical context that reminds us of America’s unique place and important role in the world. “Lively and thought-provoking . . . Fascinating reading.” —The Review of Politics Includes an introduction by Tom Wicker
Posted in History

Torn at the Roots

The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America

Author: Michael E. Staub

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231506430

Category: Religion

Page: 400

View: 761

When Jewish neoconservatives burst upon the political scene, many people were surprised. Conventional wisdom held that Jews were uniformly liberal. This book explodes the myth of a monolithic liberal Judaism. Michael Staub tells the story of the many fierce battles that raged in postwar America over what the authentically Jewish position ought to be on issues ranging from desegregation to Zionism, from Vietnam to gender relations, sexuality, and family life. Throughout the three decades after 1945, Michael Staub shows, American Jews debated the ways in which the political commitments of Jewish individuals and groups could or should be shaped by their Jewishness. Staub shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the liberal position was never the obvious winner in the contest. By the late 1960s left-wing Jews were often accused by their conservative counterparts of self-hatred or of being inadequately or improperly Jewish. They, in turn, insisted that right-wing Jews were deaf to the moral imperatives of both the Jewish prophetic tradition and Jewish historical experience, which obliged Jews to pursue social justice for the oppressed and the marginalized. Such declamations characterized disputes over a variety of topics: American anticommunism, activism on behalf of African American civil rights, imperatives of Jewish survival, Israel and Israeli-Palestinian relations, the 1960s counterculture, including the women's and gay and lesbian liberation movements, and the renaissance of Jewish ethnic pride and religious observance. Spanning these controversies, Staub presents not only a revelatory and clear-eyed prehistory of contemporary Jewish neoconservatism but also an important corrective to investigations of "identity politics" that have focused on interethnic contacts and conflicts while neglecting intraethnic ones. Revising standard assumptions about the timing of Holocaust awareness in postwar America, Staub charts how central arguments over the Holocaust's purported lessons were to intra-Jewish political conflict already in the first two decades after World War II. Revisiting forgotten artifacts of the postwar years, such as Jewish marriage manuals, satiric radical Zionist cartoons, and the 1970s sitcom about an intermarried couple entitled Bridget Loves Bernie, and incidents such as the firing of a Columbia University rabbi for supporting anti-Vietnam war protesters and the efforts of the Miami Beach Hotel Owners Association to cancel an African Methodist Episcopal Church convention, Torn at the Roots sheds new light on an era we thought we knew well.
Posted in Religion

The Great American Novel

A Novel

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466846445

Category: Fiction

Page: 382

View: 5962

Gil Gamesh is the only pitcher who ever tried to kill the umpire, and John Baal, The Babe Ruth of the Big House, never hit a home run sober. But you've never heard of them -- or of the Ruppert Mundys, the only homeless big-league ball team in American history -- because of the communist plot and the capitalist scandal that expunged the entire Patriot League from baseball memory. Philip Roth's richly imagined satiric narrative, The Great American Novel, turns baseball's status as national pastime and myth into an unfettered farce featuring heroism and perfidy, lively wordplay and a cast of characters that includes the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Posted in Fiction

The Counterlife

A Novel

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466846410

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 5438

The Counterlife is a novel unlike any that Philip Roth has written before, a book of astonishing 180-degree turns, a book of conflicting perspectives and points of view, and, by far, Roth's most radical work of fiction. The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Every major character (and most of the minor ones) is investigating, debating, and arguing the possibility of remaking the future. Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through all the landscapes, familiar and foreign, where these people are seeking self-transformation, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and to reshape history. Yet his is hardly the only voice. This is a novel in which speaking out with force and lucidity appears to be the imperative of every life. There is Henry, the forty-year-old New Jersey dentist, who risks a quintuple bypass operation in order to escape the coronary medication that renders him sexually impotent. There is Maria, the wellborn young Englishwoman, who invites the disdain of her family by marrying the American she knows will be lease acceptable in Gloucestershire. There is Lippmann, the Israeli settlement leader, who contends that "everything is possible for the Jew if only he does not give ground." The action in The Counterlife ranges from a dentist's office in quiet suburban New Jersey to a genteel dining table in a tradition-bound English village, from a Christmas carol service in London's West End to a Sabbath evening celebration in a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate. The Counterlife was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Posted in Fiction

The American Liberal Tradition Reconsidered

The Contested Legacy of Louis Hartz

Author: Mark Hulliung

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 285

View: 9493

Eight prominent scholars consider whether Louis Hartz's interpretation of liberalism in his classic 1955 book should be repudiated or updated, and whether a study of America as a "liberal society" is still a rewarding undertaking.
Posted in Political Science

The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics

Author: Sean Wilentz

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393285014

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 6215

One of our most eminent historians reminds us of the commanding role party politics has played in America’s enduring struggle against economic inequality. “There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” So begins The Politicians & the Egalitarians, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s bold new work of history. First, America is built on an egalitarian tradition. At the nation’s founding, Americans believed that extremes of wealth and want would destroy their revolutionary experiment in republican government. Ever since, that idea has shaped national political conflict and scored major egalitarian victories—from the Civil War and Progressive eras to the New Deal and the Great Society—along the way. Second, partisanship is a permanent fixture in America, and America is the better for it. Every major egalitarian victory in United States history has resulted neither from abandonment of partisan politics nor from social movement protests but from a convergence of protest and politics, and then sharp struggles led by principled and effective party politicians. There is little to be gained from the dream of a post-partisan world. With these two insights Sean Wilentz offers a crystal-clear portrait of American history, told through politicians and egalitarians including Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and W. E. B. Du Bois—a portrait that runs counter to current political and historical thinking. As he did with his acclaimed The Rise of American Democracy, Wilentz once again completely transforms our understanding of this nation’s political and moral character.
Posted in History

The Art of Fielding

A Novel

Author: Chad Harbach

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316192163

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 3207

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.
Posted in Fiction

Our Gang

Author: Philip Roth

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307539489

Category: Fiction

Page: 222

View: 3117

A ferocious political satire in the great tradition, Our Gang is Philip Roth’s brilliantly indignant response to the phenomenon of Richard M. Nixon. In the character of Trick E. Dixon, Roth shows us a man who outdoes the severest cynic, a peace-loving Quaker and believer in the sanctity of human life who doesn’t have a problem with killing unarmed women and children in self-defense. A master politician with an honest sneer, he finds himself battling the Boy Scouts, declaring war on Pro-Pornography Denmark, all the time trusting in the basic indifference of the voting public. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Fiction