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American Studies | [Louis Menand]

American Studies

What was the real significance of William James's breakdown? Of the anti-Semitism in T.S. Eliot's writing? At each step in his latest journey through American cultural history, Menand has an original point to make.
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Publisher's Summary

What was the real significance of William James's breakdown? Of the anti-Semitism in T.S. Eliot's writing? What's the connection between Larry Flynt's Hustler and Jerry Falwell's evangelism? Why doesn't Norman Mailer "get" Madonna? And who else but Louis Menand would describe former Vice President Al Gore as "a holist, a post-postmodernist, and a goo-goo"?

At each step in his latest journey through American culture history, Menand has an original point to make. Like The Metaphysical Club, American Studies (the second volume in a projected three-volume intellectual history of America) is game and detached, with a strong curiosity about the reasons ideas insinuate themselves into the culture at large. Menand explores the rise and fall of the TV network, the importance of Richard Wright, Pauline Kael, and Rolling Stone, and why we dropped the bomb. He lends an ear to Al Gore in the White House as the Starr Report is presented to the public. And he makes us look more closely at our world and ourselves.

©2002 Louis Menand; (P) 2002 Highbridge Company

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  •  
    Kirk Pawleys Island, SC, USA 10-09-07
    Kirk Pawleys Island, SC, USA 10-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    "Abridged, but doesn't say so"

    I'm very disappoined - this book is not unabridged, and contains only about half the essays in the "real" book. I was especially disappointed that it doesn't contain Menand's essay about William James, which is what interested me most in this book. Caveat emptor.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Edgewood, WA, United States 08-02-09
    Paul Edgewood, WA, United States 08-02-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Great, but abridged"

    Menand is a fantastic writer. This book is a series of profiles of individuals and movements that have shaped American culture. Each chapter draws the reader into the next. I enjoyed this book as much as The Metaphysical Club. The narrator for this volume is far superior to the one used for TMC.

    The Audible label says the book is unabridged but it is not. Many chapters are not included. I wrote to Audible and they acknowledged that the book is indeed abridged. Two weeks have passed since I received their acknowledgement and they have not changed the labeling on the site so beware.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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