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Victor Davis HansonIf McElrath and Crisler have written a hagiography, at least they defend their unbridled admiration for their author by explaining why his work is still very much worth reading. First, they argue, both his politics and his craft are often misunderstood and underappreciated. Norris was proclaimed "the American Zola," and much of his writing was patterned after lurid French sensationalism, especially his attention to Darwinism, naturalism and rationalism, or the effort to show characters as sweaty, often repugnant animals driven by instinctual self-interest in a world explicable only by cold reason.
— The New York Times