Philip Roth is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's most prolific and acclaimed writers. Roth's first novel, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), received the National Book Award, and he followed this stunning debut with more than thirty books -- earning another National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. Throughout his career, Roth delighted in controversy but often denied that he sought a role as a public intellectual. His statements and vigorous support of suppressed writers in communist Czechoslovakia, however, tell a different story.
In A Political Companion to Philip Roth, established and rising scholars explore the myriad political themes in the author's work. Several of the contributors examine Roth's writings on Jewish identity, Zionism, and American attitudes toward Israel, as well as the influence of his work in other countries. Others investigate Roth's articulation of the roles of gender and sexuality in US culture. This interdisciplinary examination offers a more complete portrait of Roth as a public intellectual and cultural icon. Not only will it fill a gap in scholarship, but it will also provide a broader perspective on the nature and purpose of the acclaimed writer's political thought.
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Claudia Franziska Bruhwiler is a lecturer and project coordinator at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. She is the author of Political Initiation in the Novels of Philip Roth.
Lee Trepanier is professor of political science at Saginaw Valley State University. He is author or editor of numerous books, including A Political Companion to Saul Bellow.
Philip Roth's Political Thought Written Remarks for the 2013 PEN Literary Gala An ear in search of a word": Writing and the Politics of Listening in Roth's I Married a Communist Serving His Tour as an "Exasperated Liberal and Indignant Citizen": Philip Roth, a Public Intellectual? The Politics and Literature of Unknowingness: Philip Roth's Our Gang and The Plot Against America Four Pathologies and a State of Sanity: Political Philosophy and Philip Roth on the Individual in Society Three Voices or One? Philip Roth and Zionism Roth at Century's End: The Problem of Progress in The Dying Animal "Novotny's Pain": Philip Roth on Politics and the Problem of Pain The Body Politic: Philip Roth's American Men Philip Roth and Life as a Man The American Berserk in Sabbath's Theater (1995) Philip Roth and the American "Underclass" in The Human Stain
A Political Companion to Philip Roth demonstrates powerfully the manifold ways in which Roth's writing often helped to shape, and was in turn shaped by, the larger political climate. The range of topics covered in the volume is impressive and the standard of the contributions is consistently strong." - David Brauner, author of Contemporary American Fiction
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