American Modernism, 1914-1945 (Research Guide to American by George Parker Anderson

By George Parker Anderson

American Modernism: 1914-1945 covers American literature in the course of the time of conflict and melancholy within the first half the twentieth century. This new learn advisor brings this significant literary interval to existence, delivering scholars with recommendations for learning and writing.

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Literary Journalists The most influential critic of contemporary literature after the war and through the 1920s was Henry Louis (H. ) Mencken. Although his formal education ended with his graduation from high school, Mencken distinguished himself as a journalist, philologist, political commentator, and literary critic and came to be regarded as the country’s greatest man of letters. In his newspaper columns for The Baltimore Sun he wrote for what he called the “civilized minority,” satirizing everything from the hysteria surrounding World War I and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan to the Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Tennessee and the residual puritanism he believed infected American life.

Thomas S. Hischak, Word Crazy: Broadway Lyricists from Cohan to Sondheim (New York: Praeger, 1991).

The cultural renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s was predicated on the work of artists and activists who broke new ground in previous generations. The last decade of the nineteenth century through to America’s entrance into World War I (1917) is often characterized as the Progressive Era when social reform movements helped set new standards for labor, education, public safety, and women’s rights. Black writers were acutely concerned with problems of “uplifting” the race, with exposing the exclusionary hypocrisy of the ethical ideals of the supposedly United States, and with offering platforms for integration or rebellion.

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