Cover image for Novels, 1920-1925
Title:
Novels, 1920-1925
Author:
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970.
Uniform Title:
Novels. Selections
Publication Information:
New York : Literary Classics of the U.S. : Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
879 pages ; 27 cm.
Summary:
These novels record the emergence of John Dos Passos as a chronicler of the upheavals of the early 20th century. "In One Man's Initiation:" 1917 an idealistic young American serving as a volunteer ambulance driver in France learns of the fear, uncertainty, and camaraderie of war. "Three Soldiers" engages in a deeper exploration of the impact of World War I upon an increasingly fractured civilization. The novel depicts the experiences of three Americans as they fight in the final battles of the war and then confront a world in which peace offers little respite from the dehumanizing servility and regimentation of militarized life. "Manhattan Transfer" is a kaleidoscopic portrait of New York City in the first two decades of the 20th century that follows the changing fortunes of more than a dozen characters as they strive to make sense out of the chaos of modern turban existence.
Language:
English
Contents:
One man's initiation, 1917 -- Three soldiers -- Manhattan transfer.
Added Title:
One man's initiation, 1917.

Three soldiers.

Manhattan transfer.
ISBN:
9781931082396
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Written in the decade before the publication of his famous U.S.A. trilogy, the three early novels collected in this Library of America volume record the emergence of John Dos Passos as a bold and accomplished chronicler of the upheavals of the early 20th century.

Dos Passos drew upon his experiences as a volunteer ambulance driver serving near Verdun in writing One Man's Initiation: 1917 (1920), in which an idealistic young American learns of the fear, uncertainty, and camaraderie of war through his encounters with French soldiers and civilians. The unexpurgated text presented in this edition restores passages censored by the novel's original publisher.

In Three Soldiers (1921) Dos Passos engaged in a deeper exploration of World War I and its psychological impact upon an increasingly fractured civilization. The novel depicts the experiences of Fuselli, a store clerk from San Francisco pathetically eager to win promotion; Chrisfield, an Indiana farmer who comes to hate army discipline; and Andrews, an introspective aspiring composer from New York, as they fight in the final battles of the war and then confront a world in which an illusory peace offers little respite from the dehumanizing servility and regimentation of militarized life.

Dos Passos described Manhattan Transfer (1925), a kaleidoscopic portrait of New York City in the first two decades of the 20th century, as "utterly fantastic and New Yorkish." Drawing on the naturalism of Theodore Dreiser and the modernism of James Joyce, the novel follows the rising and falling fortunes of more than a dozen characters as they move through a bewildering maze of tenements and skyscrapers in which Wall Street speculators, theatrical celebrities, impoverished immigrants, and anarchist rebels all strive to make sense out of the chaos of modern urban existence.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.


Author Notes

John Dos Passos (1896-1970) was born in Chicago and graduated from Harvard in 1916. His service as an ambulance driver in Europe at the end of World War I led him to write Three Soldiers in 1919, the first in a series of works that established him as one of the most prolific, inventive, and influential American writers of the twentieth century.

Townsend Ludington , volume editor, is Cary C. Boshamer Professor of English and American Studies at the University of North Carolina and author of John Dos Passos: A Twentieth Century Odyssey.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Dos Passos's second and third outings in the prestigious Library of America series offer a vast resource of his work. The Novels volume includes One Man's Initiation: 1917, Three Soldiers, and Manhattan Transfer. The second volume combines Rosinante to the Road Again, Orient Express, In All Countries, A Pushcart at the Curb, and more. The books also feature notes on the text, a chronology of the author's life, and the other standard extras of the series. Together, a huge dose of Dos. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

One Man's Initiation: 1917p. 1
Three Soldiersp. 87
Manhattan Transferp. 477
Chronologyp. 841
Note on the Textsp. 859
Notesp. 862