The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1918 novel by Booth Tarkington which won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for novel. It was the second novel in the Growth trilogy, which included The Turmoil (1915) and The Midlander (1923, retitled National Avenue in 1927).
The novel and trilogy traces the growth of the United States through the declining fortunes of three generations of the aristocratic Amberson family in a fictional Midwestern town, between the end of the Civil War and the early part of the 20th century, a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America. The decline of the Ambersons is contrasted with the rising fortunes of industrial tycoons and other new-money families, which did not derive power from family names but by "doing things." As George Amberson's friend (name unspecified) says, "don't you think being things is 'rahthuh bettuh' than doing things?" From Wikipedia
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