More than any other American novel, The Great Gatsby transcended its era to become a cultural touchstone, essentially securing its status as "The Great American Novel." In Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel (Rowman & Littlefield, 316 pp.), author Bob Batchelor demonstrates the book's pervasive significance on the ideals at the heart of American culture over the last nine decades.
Batchelor explores the novel's birth, life, and enduring influence, from the novel's appearance in the heady year of 1925 through today's headlines filled with celebrity intrigue, corporate greed, and a roller-coaster economy. Batchelor shows why and how Gatsby has become part of the fiber of the American ethos and an important tool in helping readers to better comprehend their lives and the broader world around them.
"From nearly-forgotten 1920s time capsule, Gatsby transformed into a revered cultural touchstone," explains Batchelor. "Fitzgerald's novel is now folklore and resonates with readers interested in the fulfillment of the American Dream, as well as people struggling with the same uncertainties as characters in the book. We use the terms Gatsby and Gatsby-esque as filler for so many ideas and meanings and have for nearly ninety years."
Phillip Sipiora, editor of The Mailer Review calls the book "Poignant, penetrating, and persuasive! Gatsby is an exemplary literary/cultural study and must reading for anyone interested in literature during America's richest literary period."
Exploring the timeless elements of reinvention, romanticism, and relentless pursuit of the unattainable, Batchelor confirms the book's status as "The Great American Novel," and, more importantly, explains to readers, students, scholars and fans alike what makes Gatsby so important. The interdisciplinary book also highlights how American culture has grown and shifted from the 1920s through today by looking at Gatsby's bearing on romance, reading, celebrity, and the American Dream, as well as detailed analysis of the many film versions, including the 2013 Baz Luhrmann blockbuster.
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About Bob Batchelor
Bob Batchelor is James Pedas Professor of Communication and Executive Director of the James Pedas Communication Center at Thiel College. He is the author or editor of 26 books, including John Updike: A Critical Biography. Batchelor edits the "Contemporary American Literature" book series for Rowman & Littlefield and is founding editor of The Popular Culture Studies Journal, published by the Midwest Popular Culture Association. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Popular Culture. Batchelor also serves as Director of Marketing & Media for The John Updike Childhood Home Museum in Reading, PA. Visit him on the web at www.bobbatchelor.com. Join Bob Batchelor on his Facebook page here: http://ow.ly/ueQZm