When Babbitt was first published in 1922, fans gleefully hailed its scathing portrait of a crass, materialistic nation; critics denounced it as an unfair skewering of the American businessman. Sparking heated literary debate, Babbitt became a controversial classic, securing Sinclair Lewis’s place as one of America’s preeminent social commentators.Businessman George F. Babbitt loves the latest appliances, brand names, and the Republican Party. In fact, he loves being a solid citizen even more than he loves his wife. But Babbitt comes to resent the middle-class trappings he has worked so hard to acquire. Realizing that his life is devoid of meaning, he grows determined to transcend his trivial existence and search for greater purpose. Raising thought-provoking questions while yielding hilarious consequences, and just as relevant today as ever, Babbitt’s quest for meaning forces us to confront the Babbitt in ourselves—and ponder what it truly means to be an American.
About the Author
Sinclair Lewis was an American playwright and novelist. Born in 1885, he received his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1908 and published his first novel, Hike and the Aeroplane, in 1912. He published Babbitt, perhaps his most fanous work, in 1922 and in 1926 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Arrowsmith but rejected it. In 1930 he was the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in Rome, in 1951, and his last novel World So Wide was published posthumously.
"Full of vivid satire" -- Robert McCrum * Observer * "Sinclair Lewis's wonderful demolition of the venal and pusillanimous nature of commercial America, Babbitt" * Scotland on Sunday * "A satirical masterpiece" * Sunday Times * "One of the century's most perceptive writers on working life" * Observer * "His view of America was mordant, yet it was also unexpectedly loving; there is a tenderness in all three of these books that catches the reader unawares, and imbues them with a humanity that makes their satire all the more penetrating." * Washington Post *