U.S.A

U.S.A By John Dos Passos, U S A In the novels that make up the U S Ailogy The nd Parallel and The Big Money Dos Passos creates an unforgettable collective portrait of America shot through with sardonic comedy and brilliant
  • Title: U.S.A
  • Author: John Dos Passos
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  • Page: 191
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  • U.S.A By John Dos Passos, In the novels that make up the U.S.Ailogy The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The 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 make U.S.A amonIn the novels that make up the U.S.Ailogy The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The 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 make U.S.A among the most compulsively readable of modern classics.A startling range of experimental devices captures the textures and background noises of 20th 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.The U.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.
    U.S.A By John Dos Passos,
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    About "John Dos Passos"

    1. John Dos Passos

      John Roderigo Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist.He received a first class education at The Choate School, in Connecticut, in 1907, under the name John Roderigo Madison Later, he traveled with his tutor on a tour through France, England, Italy, Greece and the Middle East to study classical art, architecture and literature.In 1912 he attended Harvard University and, after graduating in 1916, he traveled to Spain to continue his studies In 1917 he volunteered for the S.S.U 60 of the Norton Harjes Ambulance Corps, along with E.E Cummings and Robert Hillyer.By the late summer of 1918, he had completed a draft of his first novel and, at the same time, he had to report for duty in the U.S Army Medical Corps, in Pennsylvania.When the war was over, he stayed in Paris, where the U.S Army Overseas Education Commission allowed him to study anthropology at the Sorbonne.Considered one of the Lost Generation writers, Dos Passos published his first novel in 1920, titled One Man s Initiation 1917, followed by an antiwar story, Three Soldiers, which brought him considerable recognition His 1925 novel about life in New York City, titled Manhattan Transfer was a success.In 1937 he returned to Spain with Hemingway, but the views he had on the Communist movement had already begun to change, which sentenced the end of his friendship with Hemingway and Herbert Matthews.In 1930 he published the first book of the U.S.A trilogy, considered one of the most important of his works.Only thirty years later would John Dos Passos be recognized for his significant contribution in the literary field when, in 1967, he was invited to Rome to accept the prestigious Antonio Feltrinelli Prize.Between 1942 and 1945, Dos Passos worked as a journalist covering World War II and, in 1947, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.Tragedy struck when an automobile accident killed his wife, Katharine Smith, and cost him the sight in one eye He remarried to Elizabeth Hamlyn Holdridge in 1949, with whom he had an only daughter, Lucy Dos Passos, born in 1950.Over his long and successful carreer, Dos Passos wrote forty two novels, as well as poems, essays and plays, and created than four hundred pieces of art.More detailed information about Dos Passos and his carrer can be found at.

    894 thoughts on “U.S.A”

    1. Present at the Birth of Corporate ManThe modern de Tocqueville in fictional format There is no better observer of the 20th century American character than Dos Passos He chronicles that unique mixture of frenetic American activity coupled with an equally energetic despair Striving in America isn t based on hope but serves to avoid reflection on the need for hope or its source It isn t possible to understand the attraction of a man like Donald Trump to a huge swathe of the American population with [...]


    2. youtube watch v B8r7iThe press, the machine, the railway, the telegraph are premises whose thousand year conclusion no one has yet dared to draw Friedrich NietzscheThe USA Trilogy is one of the most ambitious works of fiction I have read It wants to encompass all of America over the span of forty years It is about electricity, industry, power, labor, economics, manufacturing, oppression, runaways, inequality, war America here is a sleeping agricultural nation in the beginning, an industrial mili [...]


    3. U.S.A trilogy is a panorama of the state John Dos Passos knows every nook and cranny of the country John Dos Passos knows all ins and outs of human soul so the book is a real gallery of human types But the working people, the common people, they won t allow it It s the common people who get most fun out of the torture and execution of great men If it s not going too far back I d like to know who it was demanded the execution of our friend Jesus H Christ John Dos Passos hates movers and shakers b [...]


    4. Attempting to tackle Dos Passos U.S.A trilogy in one week, Thanksgiving week, nonetheless, was quite a challenge and has put my book a week schedule a tad behind, however, this phenomenal masterpiece yes, I am singing its praises was worth the eyestrain and resulting bloodshot eyes.I wrestled with the idea of giving the 1200 page tome three weeks reading time since U.S.A consists of three novels The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money, however, since Modern Library listed it singly and it was [...]


    5. USA is a trilogy, but should really be viewed as a grand novel in three parts The first section, The 42nd parallel, takes place in the decade prior to WWI, in the United States It is an optimistic, coming of age story the characters are primarily young, idealistic Many of the characters are working class people and become involved in radical politics Throughout 42nd parallel, you get the feeling of rising class consciousness and working class power strikes are being won, the workers are revoltin [...]


    6. Indeed, this is the great American novel so far It is certainly far and away the best I have ever encountered and, yes, I suffered through Melville s opus about fishing Very few times have I finished a novel of well over a thousand pages and strongly regretted that there was no The only other instance that comes to mind is Thomas Mann s Joseph and His Brothers.As a course in American history, U.S.A is strongly recommended to anyone who has done the basic, high school level coursework but wants [...]


    7. I had a habit of writing English papers about economics in literature, so the U.S.A trilogy is like a dream come true A student could spend years writing about class and money in this book What really made it sing for me was my own sadness about the America that could have been and the America that happened instead Add to that Dos Passos s fantastic voices and it s well worth a read.


    8. John Dos Passos published his trilogy in the 1930 s The titles of the three volumes are The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money The work is a collage of newspaper headlines, biographies of famous Americans, stream of consciousness autobiography, and fictional narrative that traces through its segmented story the history of the country from the Spanish American War through the First World War and into the decade thereafter The first novel in the trilogy ends just as the United States is making [...]


    9. As far as opuses go, U.S.A is probably about as good as they come The problem is, I m not sure how much demand there is for an opus these days Contemporary readers love quantity, form, repetition see Harry Potter, Twilight, Game of Thrones, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc when duly monetized and adaptable for film But we, as a people, may be turning our back on the Tolstoys and Joyces and Dos Passoses of yesteryear I think the reason is pretty simple The opus, grand as it is, contains a lot [...]


    10. I don t understand why everyone is still looking for the Great American Novel It was written by John Dos Passos back in the 30s Ok, its actually three novels bound together as a trilogy, but s the luck It you have ever wanted to go back in time and stand in the middle of America during the first part of the 20th century while everything happened around you, now s your chance And be sure to have music by George Gershwin playing in the background I like this book so much I own two copies one that [...]


    11. Yow Too much to say about this random observations the depictions of post WWI US and European strategy around control of oil producing parts of the globe seems startlingly up to date, as does the wrangling of various business tycoons with the recently birthed FDA.By contrast, the tribulations of anyone who catches a venereal disease in the era before antibiotics, the passing reference to an icebox that actually required blocks of ice to keep things cold and so on are interesting period detail Th [...]


    12. This is the Great American Novel Trilogy Innovative structure even for today storytelling through vignettes as well as straight narration Just an incredible, involving, sweeping epic depiction of the U.S in the 20 s wobblies, Fighting Bob Lafollette, unions, everything and everyone, no joke From the snapshots and the fragments from various characters POV emerges a portrait of our country that is unforgettable This, for me, is a desert island book I could read it hundreds of times and find fresh [...]


    13. Astounding Among the finest books ever written From this point on I propose that in cartoons, when a character is shown sleepless and reading a characteristically lengthy book, that that book be U.S.A instead of War and Peace.


    14. U.S.A is the slice of a continent U.S.A is a group of holding companies, some aggregations of trade unions, a set of laws bound in calf, a radio network, a chain of moving picture theatres, a column of stockquotations rubbed out and written in by a Western Union boy on a blackboard, a public library full of old newspapers and dogeared historybooks with protests scrawled on the margins in pencil U.S.A is the world s greatest rivervalley fringed with mountains and hills, U.S.A is a set of bigmouth [...]


    15. Do I contradict myself Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes Walt Whitman was talking about himself, but that quote could be the U.S.A talking in Dos Passos overwhelming series of books that make up the U.S.A trilogy The trilogy is an outstanding document of how life was lived in the early part of the twentieth century up to the Depression And I mean really how life was lived Dos Passos attention to period details of how people dress, eat, room, travel, work, love, [...]


    16. I don t generally write reviews for the classics, since I figure that many other people have already done a better job than I could do, and this isn t any exception However, there has been some discussion of these books connections with some Rush songs, and I do feel qualified to discuss that shortly.Most Rush fans will make the connection with the song The Big Money , but there two other songs whose titles also bear similarities with these books The Camera Eye and Middletown Dreams The former i [...]


    17. Together, the three novels represent a compelling character sketch of the United States during the first three decades of the 20th century, when America was awakening to its growing power and reveling in its seemingly endless prosperity Dos Passos advances his episodic narrative through several meticulously drawn characters that span the gamut of Jazz Age archetypes the flapper, the revolutionary, the industrialist, the speculator, etc Dos Passos uses his characters intertwined lives to explore [...]


    18. Dos Passos made me want to start a union at my own job The trilogy starts off great in the 42nd Parrallel, but starts to lag in 1919 The Big Money is where Dos Passos makes his message, along with his disappointment clear America it appears really hasn t changed If anything, it s cyclical They have clubbed us off the streets they are stronger they are rich they hire and fire the politicians the newspapereditors the old judges the small men with reputations the collegepresidents the wardheelers l [...]


    19. Christ, took me long enough, but I finally finished the whole trilogy And damned if it wasn t totally rewarding The 42nd Parallel was the most enjoyable of the three to read, with its long, almost proto beat travel passages and its sense of boundless optimism for the working class in America As the characters become and complex and their actions become and intertwined over the course of the trilogy, you find yourself totally sucked into their world Highlight moment the end of the second nove [...]


    20. Read in the 1960s and it was fresh even then when it was 30 years old Still one of the great novels of all time Innovated in sturcture and socially correct It s on my short re read list


    21. The USA Trilogy John Dos Passos 1930 1936 23The 42nd ParallelMarch 22, 2013 Whoever picked these books for the Modern Library list had a GIANT boner for Marx, communism and the worker s struggle I have learned about the IWW and the Marxist movement and brotherhood than I have ever cared to know The interesting thing about these books is that they open my eyes to see the history of unified labor i.e modern political communism , and understand that the system that people bitch about It seems then [...]


    22. I want to appreciate stream of consciousness writing, but I cannot find any artistic merit in it Thankfully, John Dos Passos restricts that style to certain short sections of The 42nd Parallel, 27 mini chapters intended to give a broader perspective than those of the expository characters Perhaps for other readers it serves that purpose The narrative is also interspersed with 19 newsreels , in which he cuts short phrases from the headlines of various contemporary news stories Unfortunately, for [...]


    23. Its portrayal of morally decadent and heartless socialites in some ways out Hemingway s Hemingway see The Sun Also Rises But the trilogy is remarkable for the way it synthesizes the major historical themes of the 1920s shortly after the decade ended Dos Passos is sharply critical of capitalism, but recognizes the power of the economic system, which is now larger than and feeds upon individuals His sympathies lie with the leftist critics, who repeatedly fail to propose a viable alternative to cap [...]


    24. Dos Passos U.S.A trilogy The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money is something of an anti heroic epic, in which the intertwined lives of characters representing broad American types unfold to present a vision of America that fulfills the promise of American Idealism by drawing attention to the very elements that idealism so frequently undermines In that sense, the U.S.A of Dos Passos is a utopia yet his abrupt juxtaposition of poeticized abstractions of historical elements and disjointed first [...]


    25. This is one of the most unusual books I have ever read It is difficult to even describe the plot and it takes a while to learn how to read But, you finish with a pretty fair flavor of the United States politically, economically, and socially immediately preceding, during, and after WWI The things change, the they stay the same This book is still relevant even though it seems to have been forgotten like many of the people described in the short bios interspersed throughout Randolph Bourne, Char [...]


    26. I ve been reading this for nearly 9 years Now I am done and feel like a real American And in a way that I alone have discovered what it means to be a true American The series ends phenominally and I can t believe I ever wrote it off as mumbo jumbo that doesn t necessarily need to be read the whole way through I don t know what I m going to read next, but this was fucking fantastic All hail Simon Joyce for assigning the first book And our trip to New York to study modernity.


    27. Originally published on my blog here in May and June 2000.The 42nd ParallelThe first novel of the famous USA trilogy presents a picture of that country from the beginning of the century until 1917, when the US declared war on Germany The trilogy as a whole continues until the early 1930s In these novels, dos Passos created a new literary style, frequently admired if rarely imitated, in which documentary style clips are used to create background, to relate the characters to political and economic [...]


    28. This is historical fiction to us but was reality in all its complexity when it was written A big time commitment to read, sweeping in scope There are lots of better reviews Here is one of the News Reels that separate sections of narrativeEEKS IN BATTLE FLEE BEFORE COPSPassengers in Sleeping Car Aroused At point of GunFlow, river, flowDown to the seaBright stream bring my loved oneHome to meFIGHTING AT TORREONat the end of the last campaign, writes Champ Clark, Missouri s brilliant Congressman, I [...]


    29. The USA trilogy comprises three books that really read as one continuous story It tells the tales of numerous individuals as they are buffeted by the currents of history around the early part of the 20th century The format of the novels is uncoventional interspersed among the passages about the characters in the book are news headlines, vignettes of historical figures and autobiographical sketches There is no single plot, and there is no tidy ending for many of the charactersThe lives are consum [...]


    30. The things change, the they stay the same Upon finishing the third of the three novels, I could not help but draw parallels between the time in which the books were set and written, the early 20th century, and now, the early 21st century As my 11th grade English teacher noted, humanity s circumstances will always be different, but the human condition never changes I can t say the novels that make up this trilogy are an easy read, nor did I find them particularly enjoyable, but I am glad that I [...]


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