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F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene, 0817319646, 0-8173-1964-6, 978-0-8173-1964-9, 9780817319649, , , F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene, 0817391495, 0-8173-9149-5, 978-0-8173-9149-2, 9780817391492, , , F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene, 0817359478, 0-8173-5947-8, 978-0-8173-5947-8, 9780817359478,

F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene
Ronald Berman

Trade Cloth
2017. 112 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2017. 112 pp.
Price:  $39.95 d
Quality Paper
2019. 112 pp.
Price:  $24.95 s

A 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

A study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of Fitzgerald and key early American modernist writers

F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Scene continues Ronald Berman’s lifelong study of the philosophical, intellectual, and political influences on the artistic creations of key early American modernist writers. Each chapter in this volume elaborates on a crucial aspect of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s depiction of American society, specifically through the lens of the social sciences that most influenced his writing and thinking.

Berman addresses, among other subjects, Fitzgerald’s use of philosophy, cultural analyses, and sociology—all enriched by the insights of his own experience living an American life. He was especially interested in how life had changed from 1910 to 1920. Many Americans were unable to navigate between the 1920s and their own memories of a very different world before the Great War; especially Daisy Buchanan who evolves from girlhood (as typified in sentimental novels of the time) to wifehood (as actually experienced in the new decade). There is a profound similarity between what happens to Fitzgerald’s characters and what happened to the nation.

Berman revisits classics like The Great Gatsby but also looks carefully at Fitzgerald’s shorter fictions, analyzing a stimulating spectrum of scholars from more contemporary critics like Thomas Piketty to George Santayana, John Maynard Keynes, John Dewey, and Walter Lippmann. This fascinating addition to F. Scott Fitzgerald scholarship, although broad in its content, is accessible to a wide audience. Scholars and students of Fitzgerald and twentieth-century American literature, as well as dedicated Fitzgerald readers, will enjoy Berman’s take on a long-debated and celebrated author.

Ronald Berman is a professor emeritus of English literature at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of many books, including Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway: Language and Experience; Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties; and The Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald’s World of Ideas.

"What may seem otherwise surprising in a book about the meeting of Fitzgerald and sociology is this books reverence for the literary element. Any of the "new" discoveries always aims at proving that Fitzgerald used fiction as a literary medium before he used it as a social one. In perhaps the most subversive move of all, American Scene uses historicism against itself proudly to affirm the role of the novelistic imagination for a new age and a new American scene."
F. Scott Fitzgerald Review

“Berman has written extensively on Fitzgerald . . . so the reader should not be fooled by the slenderness of the present volume. Instead, one should recognize and appreciate the intensity of Berman’s focus: the rapidity with which culture can change in little more than a decade, especially when spurred by ideas like social Darwinism, Freudianism, and Marxism. Fitzgerald, though sharply aware of these movements, was rarely committed to any of these ideologies, sometimes to the annoyance of his mentors and supporters. . . . Highly recommended.”

“An admirable and succinct look at parallels between Fitzgerald’s depiction of American society and social science in general. There is immense value to this book, and the individual chapters will no doubt be cited in future criticism.”
—Kirk Curnutt, author of The Cambridge Introduction to F. Scott Fitzgerald and editor of The Critical Response to Gertrude Stein

“A wonderful addition to the source materials for Fitzgerald’s intimate knowledge and rendition of his American scene.”
—Chris Messenger, author of “Tender Is the Night” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Sentimental Identities and Sport and the Spirit of Play in American Fiction: Hawthorne to Faulkner

Also of Interest

Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and the Twenties
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Translating Modernism
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Fitzgerald's Mentors
by Ronald Berman

Redding, Arthur