American Studies

Front Cover
Macmillan, Nov 1, 2003 - History - 320 pages
7 Reviews
At each step of this journey through American cultural history, Louis Menand has an original point to make: he explains the real significance of William James's nervous breakdown, and of the anti-Semitism in T. S. Eliot's writing. He reveals the reasons for the remarkable commercial successes of William Shawn's New Yorker and William Paley's CBS. He uncovers the connection between Larry Flynt's Hustler and Jerry Falwell's evangelism, between the atom bomb and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. He locates the importance of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer, Pauline Kael, Christopher Lasch, and Rolling Stone magazine. And he lends an ear to Al Gore in the White House as the Starr Report is finally presented to the public.

Like his critically acclaimed bestseller, The Metaphysical Club, American Studies is intellectual and cultural history at its best: game and detached, with a strong curiosity about the political underpinnings of ideas and about the reasons successful ideas insinuate themselves into the culture at large. From one of our leading thinkers and critics, known both for his "sly wit and reportorial high-jinks [and] clarity and rigor" (The Nation), these essays are incisive, surprising, and impossible to put down.
  

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Review: American Studies

User Review  - haetmonger - Goodreads

"[Pauline] Kael never gave anyone credit for good intentions. “Art,” as she put it back in 1956, “perhaps unfortunately, is not the sphere of good intentions.” She wasn't interested in abstractions ... Read full review

Review: American Studies

User Review  - sunspot - Goodreads

Excellent. One of America's best writers. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

William James and the Case of the Epileptic Patient
3
The Principles of Oliver Wendell Holmes
31
T S Eliot and the Jews
54
The Hammer and the Nail
76
The Long Shadow of James B Conant
91
The Last Emperor
112
The Old New Yorker
125
Norman Mailer in HisTime
146
The Popist
180
Christopher Laschs Quarrel with Liberalism
198
Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt
221
Laurie Andersons United States
239
The Mind of Al Gore
244
The Reluctant Memorialist
265
NOTES
285
Copyright

Life in the Stone Age
162

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About the author (2003)

Louis Menand is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club and Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

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