Twenty-five Books That Shaped America
How White Whales, Green Lights, and Restless Spirits Forged Our National Identity
By Thomas C. Foster
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061834400, 352pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
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From the author of the New York Times bestselling How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes a highly entertaining and informative new book on the twenty-five works of literature that have most shaped the American character. Foster applies his much-loved combination of wit, know-how, and analysis to explain how each work has shaped our very existence as readers, students, teachers, and Americans.
Foster illuminates how books such as The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, My Ántonia, The Great Gatsby, The Maltese Falcon, Their Eyes Were Watching God, On the Road, The Crying of Lot 49, and others captured an American moment, how they influenced our perception of nationhood and citizenship, and what about them endures in the American character. Twenty-five Books That Shaped America is a fun and enriching guide to America through its literature.
Tom Foster is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Flint, where he teaches classes in contemporary fiction, drama and poetry as well as creative writing and composition. He has written several books on twentieth-century British and Irish literature and poetry and lives in East Lansing, Michigan.
“Funny, challenging, clear, and always insightful, this intriguing book will make you think again about what it means to be an American.”
-Janice A. Radway, author of A Feeling for Books
“Many readers will wish they had a high-school English teacher as cheery and engaged as Foster.”
“Foster is a witty, quirkily provocative, and perceptive literary critic.”