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OUP Oxford, Aug 19, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages
36 Reviews
'Zenith is the finest example of American life and prosperity to be found anywhere.'Zenith is the Midwestern city where George F. Babbitt lives and works. A successful real estate agent, his business provides all the material trappings and comfort he thinks he ought to have. He is a member of all the right clubs, and unquestioningly shares the same aspirations and ideas as his friends and fellow Boosters. Yet even complacent, conformist Babbitt dreams of romance and escape, and when his best friend does something to throw his world upside down, he rebels, and tries to findfulfilment 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. A brilliant satire, it evokes an era and at the same time exposes auniversal social malaise.In his introduction and notes Gordon Hutner explores the novel's historical and literary contexts, and its rich cultural and social references.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GlennBell - LibraryThing

The book starts slowly and the main character George Babbit is fairly repulsive in his conservatism and prejudice, not unlike many people in our current society. His general ignorance and hippocracy ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EBT1002 - LibraryThing

"He was thinking. It was coming to him that perhaps all life as he knew it and vigorously practiced [sic] it was futile; that heaven as portrayed by the Reverend Dr. John Jennison Drew was neither ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Gordon Hutner is Professor of English at the University of Illinois, having previously taught at the Universities of Wisconsin and Kentucky. He is the author of American Literature, American Culture (OUP USA, 1998) and a new book, What America Read: Taste, Class, and the Novel, 1920-1960 (UNC P, 2009). He is also editor of the journal American Literary History.

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