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Herman Wouk : The Novelist as Social Historian - Arnold Beichman

Herman Wouk

The Novelist as Social Historian

Paperback Published: 1st August 2004
ISBN: 9780765808363
Number Of Pages: 152

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Arnold Beichman's comprehensive study of the writings of Herman Wouk, one of America's leading writers, shows how Wouk's plays and novels exemplify an extraordinary and often highly perceptive preoccupation with American society in war and in peace. Situating Wouk in the same literary tradition as Cervantes, Richardson, Balzac, and Dickens, Beichman demonstrates that Wouk's novels have strong plots, moralist outcomes, and active--essentially positive--characters. The new introduction serves to bring Wouk's work over the past two decades into the reckoning.

Making extensive use of Wouk's personal papers and manuscripts as well as personal interviews with him, Beichman's focus is on the social and literary qualities of Wouk's work. In particular, he examines eight novels including War and Remembrance and The Winds of War; The Traitor, one of his three plays; and two moral tracts on Judaism. Wouk has written four more novels, including his latest, A Hole in Texas, his twelfth.

Beichman portrays Wouk as one of the few living novelists concerned with virtue, and sees his work as against the mainstream of contemporary American novelists. These, he argues, have eschewed such elements of the traditional novel as invention, coincidences, surprises, suspense, and a moral perspective more presumed than examined.

"A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance." -Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal

"How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!" -William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review

"One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work." -John Podhoretz

"Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study." -David Frum, American Enterprise Institute

"Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again." -Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University

Arnold Beichman, currently a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a regular columnist for the Washington Times, has taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, British Columbia, and Calgary. He has also written for Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and is the author of The "Other" State Department, Nine Lies about America, and CNN's Cold War Documentary: Issues and Controversy and co-author of Y.V. Andropov: A Political Biography.

"A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance."

--Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal "How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!"

--William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review "One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work."

--John Podhoretz "Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study."

--David Frum, American Enterprise Institute "Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again."

--Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University


"A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance."

--Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal "How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!"

--William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review "One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work."

--John Podhoretz "Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study."

--David Frum, American Enterprise Institute "Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again."

--Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University


-A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance.-

--Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal -How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!-

--William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review -One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work.-

--John Podhoretz -Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study.-

--David Frum, American Enterprise Institute -Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again.-

--Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University

Early influencesp. 15
A good start : Aurora dawnp. 33
Caribbean carnival : a tragicomedyp. 51
The boys of summerp. 59
The Caine mutiny : authority versus responsibilityp. 65
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered : Marjorie Morningstarp. 77
Youngblood Hawke : "young man from the Provinces"p. 89
A writer and his ideasp. 99
The greatness : the war novelsp. 113
Looking forward : a nonconclusionp. 127
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765808363
ISBN-10: 0765808366
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 152
Published: 1st August 2004
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 0.91
Weight (kg): 0.21