Classics about the US

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Classics about the US

  • Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer for the south post-Civil War.
  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird for the south in the Great Depression.
  • John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men for the west in the Great Depression.
  • James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice for a different take on California in the same period.
  • Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian for the southwest during westward expansion and conflict with Mexico.
  • Scott Fitzgerald –The Great Gatsby. “The great American novel”
  • Black Like Me. To understand the US South, Journalist John Howard Griffin disguised himself as a black man and traveled for six weeks in the South in 1959.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, though written in the 60’s,still seems relevant to what the US became
  • American Tabloid by James Elroy, for the look into the evils of anticommunism.
  • My Antonia (Willa Cather) will drop you right onto the prairies of Nebraska in the late 19th century to observe the life of a Bohemian immigrant family (and specifically their daughter, Antonia) through the eyes of a boy from Virginia who moved to Nebraska to live with his grandparents when he was orphaned. It’s the American immigrant/melting pot experience via a poignant coming of age tale.


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