With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his "vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America" (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume not only for its scope, but also for its groundbreaking style. Again, employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of modern life with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.
1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos's characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas girl, a young poet, a radical Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.
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The essential problem with Dos Passos, like so many overblown 'classics', is that apparently nothing was ever edited or let out. So the world is saddled with a humongous pile of novels like this one that would be perhaps even be wonderful if compressed to 4-5 pages of a good short story.
Review: 1919 (The USA Trilogy #2)User Review - Frank - Goodreads
This novel is much sharper that the first of the trilogy. The obscenity of war is his main theme. It comes across clearly that Dos Passos hates Wilson for sacrificing a generation of young American to ... Read full review