Individual Author Record
Name: John Dos PassosPen Name: None Genre: Born: January 14, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois Sites:
Illinois ConnectionJohn Dos Passos was born in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationJohn Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist. He was also a correspondent for ''Life Magazine'' in 1945 and 1948. Over his long and successful career, Dos Passos wrote forty-two novels, as well as poems, essays, and plays, and created more than 400 pieces of art.
Titles At Your Library
Manhattan Transfer: A Novel
ISBN: 0618381864 Mariner Books. 2003
Considered by many to be John Dos Passos's greatest work, Manhattan Transfer is an "expressionistic picture of New York" (New York Times) in the 1920s that reveals the lives of wealthy power brokers and struggling immigrants alike. From Fourteenth Street to the Bowery, Delmonico's to the underbelly of the city waterfront, Dos Passos chronicles the lives of characters struggling to become a part of modernity before they are destroyed by it.
More than seventy-five years after its first publication, Manhattan Transfer still stands as "a novel of the very first importance" (Sinclair Lewis). It is a masterpeice of modern fiction and a lasting tribute to the dual-edged nature of the American dream.
USA (The 42nd Parallel / 1919 / The Big Money)
ISBN: 1883011140 Library of America. 1996 Unique among American books for its epic scope and panoramic social sweep,U.S.A.has long been acknowledged as a monument of modern fiction. Now The Library of America presents an exclusive one-volume edition of this enduring masterwork by John Dos Passos, including for the first time detailed notes and a chronicle of the world events that serve as a backdrop.
In the novels that make up the trilogy—The 42nd Parallel,1919, andThe Big Money—Dos Passos creates an unforgettable collective portrait of America, shot through with sardonic comedy and brilliant social observation. He interweaves the careers of his characters and the events of their time with a narrative verve and breathtaking technical skill that makeU.S.A.among the most compulsively readable of modern classics.
A startling range of experimental devices captures the textures and background noises of twentieth-century life: “Newsreels” with blaring headlines autobiographical “Camera Eye” sections with poetic stream-of-consciousness “biographies” evoking emblematic historical figures like J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, John Reed, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorstein Veblen, and the Unknown Soldier. Holding everything together is sheer storytelling power, tracing dozens of characters from the Spanish-American War to the onset of the Depression.
TheU.S.A.trilogy is filled with American speech: labor radicals and advertising executives, sailors and stenographers, interior decorators and movie stars. Their crisscrossing destinies take in wars and revolutions, desperate love affairs and harrowing family crises, corrupt public triumphs and private catastrophes, in settings that include the trenches of World War I, insurgent Mexico, Hollywood studios in the silent era, Wall Street boardrooms, and the tumultuous streets of Boston just before the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.
The volume contains newly researched chronologies of Dos Passos’s life and of world events cited inU.S.A., notes, and an essay on textual selection.
The 42nd Parallel: Volume One of the U.S.A. Trilogy
ISBN: 0618056815 Mariner Books. 2000
With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultivating what Edmund Wilson once called their "own little corners," John Dos Passos was taking on the world. Counted as one of the best novels of the twentieth century by the Modern Library and by some of the finest writers working today, U.S.A. is a grand, kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation, buzzing with history and life on every page.
The trilogy opens with THE 42nd PARALLEL, where we find a young country at the dawn of the twentieth century. Slowly, in stories artfully spliced together, the lives and fortunes of five characters unfold. Mac, Janey, Eleanor, Ward, and Charley are caught on the storm track of this parallel and blown New Yorkward. As their lives cross and double back again, the likes of Eugene Debs, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie make cameo appearances.
1919: Volume Two of the U.S.A. Trilogy
ISBN: 0618056823 Mariner Books. 2000
With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his "vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America" (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume not only for its scope, but also for its groundbreaking style. Again, employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of modern life with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.
1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos's characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas girl, a young poet, a radical Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.
The Big Money: Volume Three of the U.S.A. Trilogy
ISBN: 0618056831 Mariner Books. 2000
THE BIG MONEY completes John Dos Passos's three-volume "fable of America's materialistic success and moral decline" (American Heritage) and marks the end of "one of the most ambitious projects that an American novelist has ever undertaken" (Time). Here we come back to America after the war and find a nation on the upswing. Industrialism booms. The stock market surges. Lindbergh takes his solo flight. Henry Ford makes automobiles. From New York to Hollywood, love affairs to business deals, it is a country taking the turns too fast, speeding toward the crash of 1929.
Ultimately, whether the novels are read together or separately, they paint a sweeping portrait of collective America and showcase the brilliance and bravery of one of its most enduring and admired writers.