Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.
Reading the Library of America's comprehensive anthology, Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s, is like walking out of the rain and into a time warp.
The authors included in Harold Bloom's The American Literary Canon conform to a singular American aesthetic that, in Bloom's world, makes them superior to the spectrum of the American experience.
For all the Charlie Browns in the world, Library of America has published The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life.
Readers of Library of America's collection of Whitman's late in life thoughts will be hard-pressed to miss the priorities—or their timely relevance—of his clarion call that "American must welcome all—Chinese, Irish, German, pauper or not, criminal or not—all, all, without exceptions: become an asylum for all who choose to come."
Party girls, cads, and hopeless dreamers from a distant but eternally familiar past -- John O'Hara was a writer who deserved his place in the bleacher section of Great American Writers.
Despite Mailer's literary merit, his persistent fetishizing of the black body in his writing during the '60s gets tiresome. Yet we can't ignore these works.