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 StudiesUser Review - sunspot - Goodreads
Excellent. One of America's best writers. Read full review
Review: American StudiesUser Review - Bob - Goodreads
I listened to this book on several short trips. It is a series of essays about Americans who have made significant contributions to American culture. (Some good, some not so good). The analysis that the author takes is, In some cases, unique. Very thought provoking. Read full review
William James and the Case of the Epileptic Patient
The Principles of Oliver Wendell Holmes
T S Eliot and the Jews
The Hammer and the Nail
The Long Shadow of James B Conant
The Last Emperor
The Old New Yorker
Norman Mailer in HisTime
Christopher Laschs Quarrel with Liberalism
Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt
Laurie Andersons United States
The Mind of Al Gore
The Reluctant Memorialist
Life in the Stone Age
From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American ...
Limited preview - 2010