, Aug 19, 2010
- 344 pages
Amusing and tragic by turn, Sinclair Lewis's classic novel is a biting satire of middle-American values whose title has entered the language as a byword for smug complacency, conformity, and materialism, and whose suburban targets are still much in evidence. A successful real estate agent, George F. Babbitt is a member of all the right clubs, and unquestioningly shares the same aspirations and ideas as his friends and fellow Boosters. Yet even Babbitt dreams of romance and escape, and when his best friend does something to throw his world upside down, he rebels, and tries to find fulfillment in romantic adventures and liberal thinking. Hilarious and poignant, Babbitt turns the spotlight on middle America and strips bare the hypocrisy of business practice, social mores, politics, and religious institutions. In his introduction and notes Gordon Hutner explores the novel's historical and literary contexts, and highlights its rich cultural and social references. The book also features an up-to-date bibliography and explanatory notes that document and gloss the rich social history of the period.
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