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Major Works of Literature and Writing

  • Jan 1, 1536

    Institutes of the Christian Religion

    Institutes of the Christian Religion
    This book by John Calvin talked about the doctrine of Calvinism. It said that God was good and powerful, humans sinned and were therefore weak and wicked, and God knew who was going to heaven and who was going to hell.
  • Jan 1, 1542

    The Destruction of the Indies

    The Destruction of the Indies
    This book by Bartolome de Las Casas was about the terrible fate of Native Americans and it spoke out against the policies of teh Spanish in the New World.
  • "Day of Doom"

    "Day of Doom"
    This poem by Micael Wigglesworth was a very popular poem in New England at the time about the fate of the damed (people who were destined to go to hell). This poem shows both how harsh religion at the time was and how religion was a major part of Puritan life.
  • Poor Richard's Almanac

    Poor Richard's Almanac
    This book was written by Benjamin Franklin and contained pithy sayings and encouraged Americans to have homespun virtues including thrift, industry, morality, and common sense.
  • The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

    The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved
    This pamphlet by James Otis was a bestseller at the time and it gave an argument against the taxes on the colonies by Great Britain.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    This pamphlet by Thomas Paine was about why it didn't make sense for America to be ruled by Great Britain and encouraged American independence (and argued that a republic was better than a monarchy).
  • Washington Irving

    Washington Irving
    Washington Irving was born in New York City. He was the first American author to be recognized internationally for his literary excellence. He published famous books such as Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Irving wrote many stories about Dutch-Americans.
  • The Federalist Papers

    The Federalist Papers
    This series of essays written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay (from1787-1788) was published in the New York Times and they helped to persuade people to take the Federalist position and to support the Constitution.
  • James Fenimore Cooper

    James Fenimore Cooper
    This author wrote The Spy (1821) about the American Revolution. He also wrote Leatherstocking Tales , which explored the life of a fictional rifleman, Natty Bumppo. This novel brought him to fame. Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans, a tale of a nobleman who meets with Indians. A film adaptation of the novel was later created. Cooper, along with Irving and Bryant, was a member of the Knickbocker group in New York.
  • The Age of Reason

    The Age of Reason
    Author Thomas Paine used this novel to declare that all churches were "set up to terrify and enslave manking, and monopolize power and profit."
  • William Cullen Bryant

    William Cullen Bryant
    At the young age of sixteen, this author wrote "Thanatopsis" which was later published in 1817. The poem was one of the first "high-quality" poems written in the United States. It was so good that many critics had a hard time believing such a poem could have produced in the nation.
  • David Cooperfield, Ivanhoe

    David Cooperfield, Ivanhoe
    Bestselling books that were the favorites of young people and adults in the 1880s.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Emerson was a transcendentalist who wrote poetry in the 19th century. He was ferevently against slavery and supported the Union during the Civil War. He stressed the importance of self-reliance, self-improvement, self-confidence, optimism, and freedom in society.
  • Henry David Thoreau

    Henry David Thoreau
    Thoreau refused to conform to society and criticized slavery. He was a prose writer and wrote such novels such as the famous Walden of 1854. This book is a record of two years spent in a simple life in a hut that he built on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachussetts. He also wrote the essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.
  • Walt Whitman

    As a poet, Whitman published a collection of poems in Leaves of Grass (1855). The compilation failed at first, but was revived years later.
  • Awful Disclosures

    Awful Disclosures
    Maria Monk posed as an escaped nun and described the sins the cloisters concealed including the burial of babies.
  • The Scarlet Letter

    The Scarlet Letter
    This book was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and was about how in Puritan New England adulterers had to wear a cloth A on their outer garment.
  • Moby Dick

    Moby Dick
    This novel was an allegory of good and evil. It was told through the conflict between a giant white whale named Moby Dick and a whaling captain, Ahab. Ahab had previously lost his leg to the whale and seeks revenge. The novel was written by Herman Melville.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    This novel, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in response to the Fugitive Slave Law, was a fictional account based on the true terrors of slavery. Stowe's purpose in writing this book was to show Northerners how awful slavery was. People from all over the world read it and Lincoln called this "the book that made this great war". (The Civil War)
  • The Blithedale Romance

    The Blithedale Romance
    The Brook Farm Utopia inspired this novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book focuses on a main character who was modeled on the feminist writer Margaret Fuller.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe published this novel as a response to the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law. She wanted to alert the North to the immorality of slavery by focusing on its inhumanity, especially the splitting up of slave families.
  • New York Nation

    New York Nation
    The New York Nation was a magazine that was very liberal and intellectual. Professors, preachers, and publicists read it. Started by Edwin L. Godkinin 1865. It contained many articles in favor of civil service reform.
  • Mark Twain

    Mark Twain
    Mark Twain became famous because of his two books The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1867) and Innocents Abroad (1869).
  • Little Women

    Little Women
    This novel was written by Louisa May Alcott and revolved around the life of four sisters. Alcott wrote the novel in an attempt to aid her mother and sisters financially.
  • William Dean Howells becomes editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly

    William Dean Howells becomes editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly
    Howells wrote of normal Americans and subjects that were controversial during his time. For example, in 1882 he wrote a novel dealing with divorce called A Modern Instance. His 1890 novel, A Hazard of New Fortunes, dealt with reformers, strikers, and Socialists in New York. Lastly, The Rise of Silas Lapham was about a "nouveau riche" paint manufacturer.
  • Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly

    Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly
    Sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennesse Claflin believed in free love and even charged preacher Henry Ward Beecher with adultery. Needless to say, their periodical was one that frequently shocked society.
  • The Gilded Age by Mark Twain

    The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
    The Gilded Age is a novel about greed and corruption in politics in the time period after the Civil War.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    This fictional novel, written by Mark Twain, was originally criticized by Englishmen. However, today, it is regarded as one of the American masterpieces and has inspired movies and has been refrenced in numerous tv shows. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, another of Twain's fictional novels written in 1884, is also one of America's masterpieces.
  • Ben Hur:A Tale of the Christ

    Ben Hur:A Tale of the Christ
    This book written by Gerneral Lewis Wallace was a combat against Darwinian skeptism. It supported the bible and spoke against Darwin's theory of evolution.
  • A Century of Dishonor

    A Century of Dishonor
    This book written by Helen Hunt Jackson told the sad and violent story of the United States' crulety towards the indians in their attempt to put them on reservations. This caused Americans to feel sympathy towards the indians and caused the US government to deal with the indians through assimilation.
  • Ramona

    Ramona
    This book written by Helen Hunt Jackson was a love story that told about the injustices that white Americans did to the indians in California. This caused Americans to feel sympathy towards the indians.
  • The Rise of Silas Lapham

    The Rise of Silas Lapham
    This novel by William Dean Howells is another instance in which he writes about ordinary Americans. The book revolves around a paint manufacturer who becomes a part of the caste system in Brahmin Boston and has become wealthy quite recently.
  • Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Presnt Crisis

    Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Presnt Crisis
    This book written by Reverend Josiah Strong said that the Anglo Saxon race was superoir to other races and encouraged Americans to go to other countries as missionaries to help "savage people" in other countries to learn their religion. This book caused Americans to favor/ want overseas expansion.
  • The Bostonians

    The Bostonians
    Henry James was a former lawyer-turned-author. He was one of the first to write a novel about the feminist movement.
  • Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson
    After her death Emily Dickson's poems were discovered. She wrote over 1000 poems but only 2 were published while she was still alive.
  • Looking Backward

    Looking Backward
    This book written by Edward Bellamy is about a character who falls asleep and wakes up in 2000 where there is an idyllic goverment and nationalized big business and there are no social and economic injustices that there were in 1887.
  • Henry W. Grady

    Henry W. Grady
    Grady was the editor of the Atlanta Constutution and he encouraged the South to industrialize through his writings. He even wrote a speech encouraging Southern industrialization which was about how when a Southerner dies his body and the hole his grave is in are the only things the South made for the funeral.
  • The Priciples of Psychology

    The Priciples of Psychology
    The intellectual William James wrote this book which was a book that created the modern discipline of behavioral psychology.
  • New York World

    New York World
    In the late 1800s Joseph Pulitzer used sensationalism and comic strips such as the "Yellow kid". The comic the "Yellow kid" gave his techniques of newspaper article writing to be called yellow journalism.
  • Progress and Poverty

    Progress and Poverty
    In the late 1800s Henry George who was a journalist and a writer wrote Progress and Poverty. This book was an attempt to figure out how to solve the problem of poverty that came as a result of progress. He said that population grwoth without an increase in land make property cost more and and created more profits for land owners. He thought the way to deal with this was a 100 percent tax on windfall profits.
  • Dime novels

    Dime novels
    In the late 1800s dime novels were popular among Americans as literacy and subsequently book reading increased. These stories were about the west including stories about indians and gun men. Harlan F. Halsey wrote 650 dime novels.
  • Horatio Alger

    Horatio Alger
    In the late 1800s Horatio Alger wrote many books of juvenile fiction about newspaper boys. These books created the message that virtue, honesty, and industry were rewarded with sucess, wealth, and honor.
  • Walt Whitman

    Walt Whitman
    Walt Whit man was a poet who (in the late 1800s) wrote Leaves of Grass and two other poems called "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" which were both about Lincoln's assassination.
  • "The Marshes of Glynn"

    "The Marshes of Glynn"
    In the late 1800s Sidney Lanier wrote the poem "The Marshes of Glynn" which was a poem about religion (faith) and was inspired by the conflict going on at the time between Darwinism and religion.
  • The Influnece of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783

    The Influnece of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783
    This book written by Alfred Thayer Mahan said that having to become a world power a country must have a strong navy (and be able to control the seas) This caused the world powers to start a naval race at the beginning of the 1900s and caused Americans to ask the government for a stronger navy and a canal.
  • How the Other Half Lives

    How the Other Half Lives
    This book by Jacob Riis told of the dreadful conditions in the slums of New York City. TR was influenced by this book and so when he was the New York police commissioner he worked to help improve conditions. It also encoraged other people (Progressives) to work to imporve conditions in the NYC slums.
  • "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"

    "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"
    This essay by Frederick Jackson Turner was written after the cesus office said that in 1890 there was no longer a discernable frontier in the US. It was all about how most of the history of the US to that point had been about settling the west and about how the west had shaped the US, increased democract/democratic thinking, and how it had given the U.S. its own distict culture (different from that of Europe).
  • Coin's Financial School

    Coin's Financial School
    This was a very popular pamphlet written by William Hope Harvey. The pamphlet promoted free silver rather than gold and was greatly supported by Populists. An illustration in the pamphlet showed a "gold ogre beheading the beautiful silver maiden" (633).
  • Wealth Against Commonwealth

    Wealth Against Commonwealth
    Henry Demarest Llyod wrote this book which was an expose on Standard Oil Company. This book (along with others) encouraged people to take action to right the wrongs in American socirty and hlped to start the Progressive Movement.
  • The Red Badge of Courage

    The Red Badge of Courage
    Written with no first hand knowledge of the Civil War, author Stephen Crane, the son of a minsiter, was able to rise to fame with this novel. It was written with the help of printed Civil War records.
  • Cross of Gold

    Cross of Gold
    This was a speech made by Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in during the election of 1896. He was a soft-money advocate and said that the government "shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold" (634).
  • The Will to Believe

    The Will to Believe
    This book by William James talked about the psychology and philosophy of religion.
  • San Fransico Examiner

    San Fransico Examiner
    A newspaper owned by William Randoplh Hearst. Hearst was a competitor of Pulitzer and he too wrote news stories about scandal and sensational rumors.
  • Women and Economics

    Women and Economics
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman used this work to tell women to become indpendent individuals rather than a simple housewife. She wanted women to become more involved in society and in the economy.
  • Yellow Journalism (Spanish American war)

    Yellow Journalism (Spanish American war)
    Before the Spanish American War Hearst and Pulitzer used Yellow Journalism in their newspapers to depict the events occuring in Cuba. They made Spanish treatment of the Cubans seem worse than it actually was to inflame public opinion so that the American people would ask the government to declare war on Spain. Hearst had Remington go to Cuba and draw pictures of Spanish attrocities. Their yellow journalism was one of the things that lead to the start of the Spanish American war.
  • Letter written by Dupuy de Lome

    Letter written by Dupuy de Lome
    William R. Hearst published in his newspaper a letter that Dupuyde Lome (the Spanish minister in Washington) wrote. Thi sletter insulted President McKinley. As a result of the publication of the letter in the newspaper the American people were mad and this pushed America sloer to war with Spain.
  • The Conjure Woman

    The Conjure Woman
    What makes this novel truly unique is that it was written by Charles W. Chestnutt, a black author. He, unlike authors of his ethnicity before him, actually embraced black dialect and southern black culture in his writings.
  • The Awakening

    The Awakening
    Kate Chopin, a Missouri native like Mark Twain, wrote about dramatic subjects. She wrote of adultery, suicide, and women's ambitions in her late 19th century, "The Awakening".
  • The White Man's Burden

    The White Man's Burden
    This poem by Rudyard Kipling encouraged America to become an imperial power. It said that America should take over other , "less civilized" countries so that they can help to educate the "savages" of those countries and teach them the Anglo Saxon religions and ways of life.
  • The Theory of the Leisure Class

    The Theory of the Leisure Class
    This book by Thornstein Veblen was an attack on the people who were newly rich; those who had gotten rich by using corrupt practices in businesses that were created during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Sister Carrie

    Sister Carrie
    Theodore Dreiser's novel about a poor girl who becomes a mistress and later a famous actress is on today's Modern Library's 100 Best Novels. However, back in the 1900s, the book was said to lack morals and was therefore taken out of circulation.
  • Varieties of Religious Experience

    Varieties of Religious Experience
    This book by William James also spoke about the philosophy and psychology of religion.
  • The Shame of the Cities

    The Shame of the Cities
    This series of articles in McClure's by Lincoln Steffens was about the corrupt alliance between (big) business and the (municipal) government.
  • Muckrakers

    Muckrakers
    In the early 1900s journalists and other writers wrote exposes on the evils of American society icluding child labor, the poor condition of factories, government corruption, and the corruption of many large companies. These exposes caused people to want to reform American society so they caused the many reform movements of the early 1900s (the Progressive Era).
  • The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild
    Jack London wrote many famous books about nature. Perhaps the most famous of these was The Call of the Wild.
  • Call of the Wild

    This book by Jack London was about nature that many city dweller in the early 1900s enjoyed reading. It's popularity showed how in the early 1900s Americans were beginning to believe that conservation of the American wilderness was important.
  • "The History of the Standard Oil Company"

    "The History of the Standard Oil Company"
    Ida M. Tarbell wrote this expose on Standard Oil Company in 1904. This expose was all true and it really hurt Standard Oil Company.
  • Woman Suffrage

    Woman Suffrage
    The 21st century was filled with "new women" feminists, fighting for their rights. Evelyn Rumsey Cary, author of "Woman Suffrage" was no exception.
  • "Frenzied Finance"

    "Frenzied Finance"
    These series of articles by Thomas W. Lawson was about the corrput ways in which many Americans made fortunes.
  • The Bitter Cry of the Children

    The Bitter Cry of the Children
    This book by John Spargo was all about the abuses of child labor. This book caused Americans to attemot to reform child labor.
  • The Jungle

    The Jungle
    This book written by Upton Sinclair was about the poor working conditions in large meat canning factories and was also about the unsanitary meat prducts that companies were selling. It told of the filth, disease, and putrefaction in the slaughterhouses in Chicago. It caused TR to make an investigating commission to investigate the meat factories in America and it also lead to the creation and passing of the Meat Inspection Act of 1906.
  • The Man With the Muckrake

    The Man With the Muckrake
    This speech by Theodore Roosevelt spoke agianst the muckrakers. TR said that it is necessary for the people to make the public aware of the ills of society so that they can be fixed, but he though that the muckrakers took this too far. TR said that muckrakers were bad because they spoke only of the evils of society and because they made the public believe that all trusts (even the good ones) were bad.
  • "The Treason of the Senate"

    "The Treason of the Senate"
    This series of articles in Cosmopolitan by David G. Phillips was about how many senators represented the railroads and the trusts instead of the American people.
  • Pragmatism

    Pragmatism
    This book by William James was about America's largest contribution to philosophy, pragmatism. Pragmatism said that truth needed to be tested by seeing the consequences of an idea through living out the idea rather than just theories about the idea.
  • Following the Color Line

    Following the Color Line
    This book by Ray Stannard Baker was about the poor condition of the African Americans. It told of the illiteracy and the "sorry subjugation" of American blacks.
  • The Promise of American Life

    The Promise of American Life
    Herbert Croly wrote this book in 1910 and later, in during the 1912 campaign, Roosevelt would base much of his platform on the book's theories. Croly and Roosevelt were in accordance for many different progressive ideas. This is reflected when a comparison is made between Croly's book and Roosevelt's beliefs.
  • The Financier and The Titan

    The Financier  and The Titan
    These books written by Theodore Dreiser in 1912 and 1914 respectively spoke out against promoters and profiteers.
  • Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It

    Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It
    This book by Louis D. Brandeis helped feed America's desire for bank reform. The book is a collection of essays which criticizes investment bankers and the banking system.
  • Bernard Malamud

    Bernard Malamud
    Malamud wrote "The Assistant" (1957) about a Jewish New York family of storekeepers. In 1952, he wrote about the "mythical qualities" of the American baseball culture in "The Natural."
  • Saul Bellow

    Saul Bellow
    "The Adventures of Augie March" (1953) and "Herzog" (1962) are focused on Jewish urban and literary life. Bellow become to eight American to win the Nobel laureate for literature (1977).
  • The Luck of the Roaring Camp & The Outcasts of Poker Flat

    The Luck of the Roaring Camp & The Outcasts of Poker Flat
    These stories about sriking it rich in California were written by New Yorker Bret Harte. Harte had gone to California during the gold rush but instead of making a fortune through gold, he accomplished this with his books. Unfortunately, after these two stories, he was never able to write anything as popular again.
  • Winesburg, Ohio

    Winesburg, Ohio
    This fictional book by Sherwood Anderson was about made up characters who were negatively affected by their cramped psychological surroundings.
  • This Side of Paradise

    This Side of Paradise
    F. Scott Fitzgerald was an author who was part of the "Lost Generation". This group of writers viewed American culture very negatively and believed that Americans were much too materialistic. They called for a more cosmopolitan culture and many seeked this out by moving to cities like London and Paris. This Side of Paradise was very popular and read by many young Americans and flappers.
  • Main Street

    Main Street
    This book was written by Sinclair Lewis and was a satire that caused him to become famous. Mian Street is about who tries, but fails to end provincialism.
  • Babbitt

    Babbitt
    This book was also written by Sinclair Lewis and in it Lewis made fun of a man named George F. Babbitt who was a real estate broker who conformed and became materialistic just like other middle class real estate brokers like himself. After this book people began to use the word Babbittry to talk about conformist, materialistic lifestyles like Babbitt's.
  • The Waste Land

    The Waste Land
    This was a poem written by T.S. Elliot (who was influenced by another great poet, Ezra Pound) and it is thought to be one of teh most influential poems of the 1900s. The poem talks about the many things Elliot thought were wrong with society in the early 1900s.
  • American Mercury

    American Mercury
    The American Mercury was a monthly newspaper published by H.L. Mencken. Mencken was very critical towards American society in the 1920s. He attacked marriage, patriotism, democracy, prohibition, Rotarians, and middle-classed American in his periodical. He saw the worst in American society and brought it out through his writings.
  • The Man Nobody Knows

    The Man Nobody Knows
    During the 1920s, advertisment was becoming popular. Author Bruce Barton published this book in 1925 with the theory that Jesus Christ was the best advertisement man of who ever lived. He compared Jesus to a businessman saying that he was able to condense his advertisments in a well thought out and concise manner and that he was able to pick twelve men from the bottom of the "business world" and was able to make a victorious "organization" with their help.
  • The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby
    The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, focuses on American society at it's worst. The seven main characters each have one of the seven deadly sins, even the protagonist, Gatsby. The novel is set in Long Island in the 1920s where material posessions and wealth are the most valued aspects of a person. Fitzgerald really focuses on how society must change it's materialistic ways.
  • An American Tragedy

    An American Tragedy
    This novel by Theodore Dreiser focuses on the an achievement-oriented American society and the problems with that. American greed is shown at its worst here with the plot line centers on a pregnant working girl's murder that was committed by her socially ambitious lover.
  • Mein Kampf

    Mein Kampf
    This book was written by Adolph Hitler while he was in prison for trying to take over the German government with a coup and it was about his life and about his plans for Germany.
  • The Weary Blues

    The Weary Blues
    The 1920s saw a period of new racial pride, especially in northern black communities like Harlem in New York City. One poet, Langston Hughes, was an African American living in Harlem who wrote many poems about African American life and pride. The Weary Blues is an excellent example of black culture and life in the 1920s.
  • The Sun Also Rises

    The Sun Also Rises
    Ernest Hemingway wrote this novel in 1926 about disillusioned American expatriates in Europe. Hemingway had been a solider on the Italian front in 1917 and was very affected by the war. His writings were often his response to propaganda and patriotism in the U.S. after he had seen the horrors of war.
  • Soldier's Pay

    Soldier's Pay
    This book was written by William Faulkner and was about war, depicting war in a bitter, morose way.
  • Strange Interlude

    Strange Interlude
    Strange Interlude is a play written by Eugene O'Neill who was a famous playwright who wrote more than 12 plays in the 1920s. It was a controversial play as present in it were Freudian notions of sex.
  • A Farewell to Arms

    A Farewell to Arms
    This novel was one of Ernest Hemingway's writings about experiencing war. He was very depressed and troubled because of the war and eventually, he killed himself in 1961. Since he had had first hand experience in the war and he had been so personally affected by it, his novels were very personal and well-crafted. Today, his books are still highly regarded.
  • The Sound and the Fury

    The Sound and the Fury
    This fictional book was also written by William Faulkner and is about a county in the deep south which Faulkner made up. The book is about a southern family and their black slave and it is about the problems they face because their former fortune and reputation are gone.
  • As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying
    This book was also written by William Faulkner and it is about a fictional county in Mississippi. It is about a made up family who wishes and tries to get their family member Addie Bundren to be buried in Jefferson County.
  • E.L. Doctorow

    E.L. Doctorow
    Doctorow used the themes of the Old Testament in his fictional story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, "The Book of Daniel" (1971). He later retold stories of other histories in book such as "Ragtime" (1975), "World's Fair" (1985), and "Billy Bathgate" (1989).
  • Philip Roth

    Philip Roth
    Roth's "Goodbye, Columbus" (1959) is written about young surburban New Jersey familes while his novel "Portnoy's Complaint" (1969) is an account of a middle-aged New Yorker who is sexaully obsessed.
  • Quarantine Speech

    Quarantine Speech
    This was a speech given by FDR in Chicago in 1937 and it said that the nations of the world must quarantine or stop the aggressors. This upset isolationists in America who did not want America to take any action that was not completely neutral for fear that it would cause America to be pulled into WWII.
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath
    This book was written by John Steinbeck and was about the "Okies" and "Arkies" who left the Dust Bowl to find work in California during the 1930s. It was about a fictional family, the Joads, who left their home in the Dust Bowl to find work elesewhere.
  • Native Son

    Native Son
    This book by Richard Wright (a black author) was the story of a black Chicago killer.
  • An American Dilemma

    An American Dilemma
    This book written by Gunnar Myrdal talked about how although the U.S. said they believed that all men are created equal black Americans were treated very poorly and not equally to white Americans.
  • The Common Sense Book of baby and Child Care

    The Common Sense Book of baby and Child Care
    This book by Dr. Benjamin Spock gave advice on child-rearing and. It taught parents homely wisdom they would have learned from their parent in earlier decades (but couldn't then because so many Americans were moving all over the country-especially to the Sunbelt).
  • All the King's Men

    All the King's Men
    This novel by Robert Penn Warren focuses and immortalizes the life of politician Huey Long.
  • Tennessee Williams

    Tennessee Williams
    Williams wrote plays that were about psychological misfits that tried to hold themselves together despite the forces of modern society that were pulling their lives apart. These plays include A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955).
  • The Naked and the Dead

    The Naked and the Dead
    Norman Mailer wrote this book told of the life of soldiers during WWII.
  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male

    Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
    This study by Dr. Alfred Kinsey revealed American sexual habits. The book was based on thousands of interviews and Kinsey wrote about controversial issues such as premarital sex and adultery. He also believed that about ten percent of American males were homosexuals. The book was followed by "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" five years later in 1953.
  • Arthur Miller

    Arthur Miller
    Arthur Miller wrote the play The Death of a Salesman(1949) about the cost of failure in a society where everyone is given a chance to succeed. He also wrote the play The Crucible (1953) which paralled the Salem witch trials to McCarthyism to show how damaging to society McCarthyism was.
  • The Lonely Crowd

    The Lonely Crowd
    This book was written by David Riesman and depicted the post-WWII generation of Americans as conformists. This book as well as other books of the time talked about the problems created by the new consumeriost lifestyle.
  • From Here to Eternity

    From Here to Eternity
    James Jones wrote this book that portrayed the life of soldiers during WWII.
  • The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye
    This novel by J.D. Salinger revolves around the character, Holden Caulfield, a cynical Anglo-Saxon, upper-class teenager.
  • The Old Man and the Sea

    The Old Man and the Sea
    This book was written by Ernest Hemingway and it was a fictionalaccount of an old Cuban fisherman struggling at sea with a huge marlin.
  • East of Eden

    East of Eden
    This book was written by John Steinbeck and was a "graphic portrayal of American society".
  • Invisible Man

    Invisible Man
    This book by Ralph Ellison was about a black person's search to discover his personal identity.
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

    The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
    Sloan Wilosn wrote this book about how Americans were becoming conformists in the generation after WWII. The book focused on the problems in America after WWI that were created by the new cosumerist lifestyle.
  • The Organization man

    The Organization man
    Willam H. Whyte Jr. wrote this book that was also about the problems created by the new consumerost lifesyle of Americans after WWII, such as how American after WWII were conformists.
  • The Power Elite

    The Power Elite
    This book written by C. Wright Mills was an influential expose about collusion at the highest levels of the "military-industrial complex".
  • John Cheever

    John Cheever
    John Cheever wrote the Wapshot Chronicle (1957) and the Wapshot Scandal (1964), which also discuused the problems in American society that stemmed form teh new mobility and affluence.
  • The Affluent Society

    The Affluent Society
    John Kenneth Galbraith, a harvard economist, wrote this book in which he questioned the relation between private welath and public good. He said that the post WWII prosperity had caused private wealth, but social problems/ problems for teh community at large. His book also called for social spending to match private purcahsing.
  • A Raisin in the Sun

    A Raisin in the Sun
    Larainne Hansberry wrote this book which was an influential book about African-American life.
  • Rabbit Run

    Rabbit Run
    John Updike wrote this book which was about the dillemmas in America that were created by the new mobility and affluence of life in America.
  • Catch-22

    Catch-22
    This book was written by Joseph Heller and was about the improbableantics and anguish of the members of the U.S. airforce who served in the Mediterranian during WWII.
  • Travels with Charley

    Travels with Charley
    John Steinbeck wrote this book which is another "graphic portrayal of American society".
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    This play by Edward Albee talked about the bad and greedy underside of middle-class life.
  • The Other America

    The Other America
    Michael Harrington wrote aided LBJ's antipoverty war by gainging public support through this novel. It revealed that 20 percent of the entire population--and 40 percent of the black population--were impoverished in America at the time.
  • Silent Spring

    Silent Spring
    Rachel Carson's book exposed the poisonous effects of pesticides and generated support and gave a boost to the environment concern in the 60s.
  • The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique
    This book was written by Betty Friedan and it spoke out against the boredom of suburban housewifery. It was a book of feminine protest and it helped to start the modern women's movement.
  • Sylvia Plath

    Sylvia Plath
    Plath wrote a moving poem called Ariel (1966) and a disturbing novel called The Bell-Jar (1963).
  • The Fire Next Time

    The Fire Next Time
    James Baldwin (a black author) wrote this book, which reflected thoughtfully on the racial question.
  • For the Union Dead

    For the Union Dead
    In this poem was written by Robert Lowell he tried the apply the Puritan wisdom of the past to present problems taht America was facing.
  • The Dutchman

    The Dutchman
    LeRoi Jones (later known as Imamu Amiri Baraka) was an African-Amercan playwright who wrote this play,which was very influential.
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner

    The Confessions of Nat Turner
    Author William Styron reflects on the harsh history of his native Virginia through a fictional account of a slave reblleion in 1831.
  • Couples

    Couples
    John Updike also wrote this book and it too was about the problems that arouse from the new mobility and afflunece of life in America.
  • Myra Breckinridge

    Myra Breckinridge
    This book was written by Gore Vidal and was about a reincarnated transsexual.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five

    Slaughterhouse-Five
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote this book that was a dark comedy war tale.
  • The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society

    The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society
    Daniel Bell wrote this book which was about more paradoxes of the new American prosperity. Bell said that the "Consumer ethic" of WWII era could ubdermine the "work ethic" thus destroying the productive capacity of America's capitalistic system.
  • The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

    The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
    This book was also written by Daniel Bell and talked about the deep paradoxes of prosperity. He once again discussed how in America the new "consumer ethic" was undermining the old "work ethic", which could make America's capitalistic system less productive.