Cover image for Theodore Dreiser : An American journey, 1908-1945
Theodore Dreiser : An American journey, 1908-1945
Lingeman, Richard R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam, [1990]

Physical Description:
544 pages : portrait ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Volume II."--Cover.

Sequel to: Theodore Dreiser: At the gates of the city, 1871-1907.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3507.R55 Z6638 1990 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3507.R55 Z6638 1990 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the second volume of his definitive biography of Theodore Dreiser [BKL S 1 86], Lingeman recounts the mature life of a giant of modern American literature. A sympathetic imagination breathes life and meaning into a wealth of facts uncovered through painstaking research. Lingeman deftly weaves his discussion of Dreiser's fiction and poetry into an engaging narrative of the writer's personal life, illuminating the complex interrelationship between art and experience. The writing of An American Tragedy, Dreiser's masterpiece, receives particularly thorough and nuanced treatment. Although center stage belongs to Dreiser, the reader catches glimpses of other prominent writers of the day, including H. L. Mencken, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, and Sherwood Anderson. Generous in his praise of Dreiser, Lingeman honestly depicts the man's failings--including his philandering and his political naivete--in rendering a complete and balanced portrait. Notes and bibliography; to be indexed. --Bryce Christensen

Publisher's Weekly Review

The concluding installment of Lingeman's ( Small Town Americasic ) two-volume biography finds Dreiser (1871-1945) employed in midlife as an editor at Butterfield Publications, having published his first novel, Sister Carrie --but not for long. The literary renegade abruptly left wife and job to sweat it out as a writer in New York's Greenwich Village, subsisting on little but ambivalent critical notices until the tidal-wave success of An American Tragedy . Lingeman, executive editor of the Nation , immerses himself in the history of the American left to make sense of Dreiser's engagement with Stalinism and with the Communist flank of American syndicalism, discovering considerable political astuteness in Dreiser's partisan activity. This portrait, based on letters and journals, shows a clearer thinker than is usually conveyed by Dreiser's reputation as a curmudgeon unable to pen a navigable sentence. Lingeman avoids simple assessment, forging beyond Freudian cliches in considering Dreiser's sexual identity, with its simultaneous striving for freedom and stability. On the whole, his is an undeluded, jargon-free biography which finds much to admire in both the man and his work. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Judicious and basically sympathetic, this final volume of Lingeman's two-volume work (following Theodore Dreiser: At the Gates of the City, 1871-1907 , Putnam, 1986) should supersede W.A. Swanberg's Dreiser ( LJ 3/15/65). Able to reconcile contrarieties in Dreiser's personality, Lingeman is particularly good in detailing Dreiser's run-ins with censors and publishers, his uneasy alliance/friendship with Mencken, his use of the Gillette-Brown murder case in An American Tragedy , his compulsive affairs with younger women, and his unflagging search for purpose in an apparently chaotic universe. This lively volume offers us not only the artist at the height of his powers, but, finally, the man who spent the last 20 years of his life worrying fruitlessly about a host of social, political, and metaphysical problems. Essential.-- Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, Mo. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.