The Last Titan
A Life of Theodore Dreiser
By Jerome Loving
(University of California Press, Hardcover, 9780520234819, 480pp.)
Publication Date: February 2005
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Dreiser was a controversial figure in his time, not only because of his literary efforts, which included publication of the brutal and heartbreaking "An American Tragedy "in 1925, but also because of his personal life, which featured numerous sexual liaisons, included membership in the communist party, merited a 180-page FBI file, and ended in Hollywood. "The Last Titan "paints a full portrait of the mature Dreiser between the two world wars--through the roaring twenties, the stock market crash, and the Depression--and describes his contact with important figures from Emma Goldman and H.L. Mencken to two presidents Roosevelt. Tracing Dreiser's literary roots in Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and especially Whitman, Loving has written what will surely become the standard biography of one of America's best novelists.