These United States: Portraits of America from the 1920s

These United States: Portraits of America from the 1920s

by Daniel H. Borus
     
 

"From 1922 to 1925, the Nation's managing editor, Ernest Gruening, persuaded 48 American authors to write about their native states for the magazine. This singularly valuable volume. . . reprints all the essays, plus an article on New York City."—Publishers Weekly

A remarkable portrait of the 1920s, These United States features the insights of some of the

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Overview

"From 1922 to 1925, the Nation's managing editor, Ernest Gruening, persuaded 48 American authors to write about their native states for the magazine. This singularly valuable volume. . . reprints all the essays, plus an article on New York City."—Publishers Weekly

A remarkable portrait of the 1920s, These United States features the insights of some of the most prominent men and women of American letters—among them, Willa Cather, H. L. Mencken, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The book presents a unique series of 49 articles as well as a generous sampling of stereoscopic photographs from the period.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From 1922 to 1925, the Nation 's managing editor, Ernest Gruening, persuaded 48 American authors to write about their native states for the magazine. This singularly valuable volume, edited by a University of Rochester (N.Y.) history professor, reprints all the essays, plus an article on New York City by Gruening. Willa Cather (Nebraska) and Dorothy Canfield Fisher (Vermont) strike two of the very few positive notes. In more typical pieces, H. L. Mencken attacks the Maryland ``booboisie,'' Sherwood Anderson condemns Ohio money-grubbers and Edmund Wilson decries the commuters intruding on peaceful New Jersey townssuburbs a postwar concept, and commuters' intrusion was precisely what made towns into suburbs . Sinclair Lewis, the scourge of Minnesota, and Theodore Dreiser, complaining about Indiana, nevertheless admit to fond if grudging feelings for their points of origin. W.E.B. Du Bois's impassioned polemic supporting the advancement of blacks in Georgia makes even more shocking by contrast Beulah Amidon Ratcliff's overtly ? quote suggests racism is pretty overt/right, can't get much more overt that these quotes.gs racist article blaming ``lazy, immoral niggers'' for Mississippi's backwardness. The juxtaposition of such strikingly individual voices makes for ? entertaining and informative reading. ( June )
Library Journal - Library Journal
This collection brings together a series of 49 articles, one on each state and a separate essay on New York City, contributed to The Nation between 1922 and 1925. They appear as originally written, accompanied only by a brief introduction, a few footnotes, and summary of what is known about the contributors, who range from now-forgotten journalists to such well-known literary and political figures as Willa Cather, W.E.B. DuBois, Theodore Dreiser, and H.L. Mencken, each writing on their native state. Because the authors had great freedom in presenting their topics, the articles vary considerably in focus, method, and quality. In several cases, one wishes that the editor had imposed himself a bit more to explain details. Nonetheless, his minimal involvement allows the essays to stand on their own, making fascinating reading unimpeded by editorial commentary. Recommended for specialists and interested laypersons alike.-- Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Booknews
Collects for the first time a remarkable series of articles originally published in The Nation between 1922 and 1925. Stressing the personal impressions of the contributors, these 49 articles, one for each state of the union plus another for New York City, feature the insights of some of the most prominent men and women of American letters in the first quarter of the century, including W.E.B. DuBois, Theodore Dreiser, H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, Edmund Wilson, and Sherwood Anderson. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801427473
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
04/14/1992
Series:
4/18/2002
Pages:
418
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.27(d)

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