Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics New introductions commissioned from todays top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the readers viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influencesbiographical, historical, and literaryto enrich each readers understanding of these enduring works.
In the small midwestern city of Zenith, George Babbitt seems to have it all a successful real-estate business, a devoted wife, three children, and a house with all the modern conveniences. Yet, dissatisfied and lonely, hes begun to question the conformity, consumerism, and competitiveness of his conservative, and ultimately cultureless middle-class community. His despairing sense that something, many things are missing from his life leads him into a flirtation with liberal politics and a fling with an attractive and seemingly "bohemian" widow.
But he soon finds that his attempts at rebellion may cost more than he is willing to pay. The title of Sinclair Lewiss 1922 satire on American materialism added a new word to our vocabulary. "Babbittry" has come to stand for all thats wrong with a world where the pursuit of happiness means the procurement of thingsa world that substitutes "stuff" for "soul." Some twenty years after Babbitts initial success, critics called Lewis dated and his fiction old-fashioned.
But these judgments have come to seem like wishful thinking. With Babbitry evident all around us, the novel is more relevant than ever. Kenneth Krauss teaches drama at the College of Saint Rose, in Albany, New York.
His books include Maxwell Anderson and the New York Stage, Private ReadingsPublic Texts, and The Drama of Fallen France.