The Pilot and the Passenger: Essays on Literature, Technology, and Culture in the United States

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9780195048759: The Pilot and the Passenger: Essays on Literature, Technology, and Culture in the United States
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Leo Marx is one of the major critics of American culture, technology, and literature, and his widely influential The Machine in the Garden (Oxford, 1964) is a classic of American literary criticism. In The Pilot and the Passenger, he brings together essays written over four decades that explore the interplay among literature, technology, and political ideology in the United States. Grouping the essays into three sections, Marx first examines major American writers, providing brilliant analyses of Melville, Thoreau, Twain, and Frost, which reveal the ways in which these writers defined the conflicts of our culture. The second section considers the larger controversies generated by science, technology, and urban industrialism. Marx concludes with a thought-provoking section on modern criticism, including a moving reminiscence of F.O. Matthiessen and a study of Susan Sontag's account of the Vietnam War, in which Marx analyzes the incompatible mix of pastoral and revolutionary fantasies that characterized the New Left of the 1960s. A provocative and insightful contribution to American studies, this book elucidates some of the chief paradoxes and conflicts that define the special quality of America's literature, politics, and people.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
Leo Marx is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American Cultural History in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From Publishers Weekly:

These essays by one of America's most eminent cultural critics, author of The Machine in the Garden, are the product of an imagination that's as much sociological as literary. Based on the "dialectical concept" of American culture, they examine the creative uses to which native writers past and present have been able to put the conflicting and even incompatible interpretations of reality that prevail in the culture at large. The book is divided into three sections: the first dealing with individual writers of the past, principally Twain, Melville and Thoreau; the second with the wider conflicts generated by science, technology and urban industrialization; and the third with writers, themes and problems of our timeNorman Mailer and Susan Sontag, the cultural impact of left-wing thought, the curious mix of pastoralism and revolution in the 1960s. Included also is a perceptive tribute to literary scholar F. O. Matthiessen who committed suicide in 1950.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780195048766: The Pilot and the Passenger: Essays on Literature, Technology, and Culture in the United States

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1989
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