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1919 by John Dos Passos
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1919 (1932)

by John Dos Passos

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: U.S.A. Trilogy (2), Trilogía U.S.A. (2)

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769712,029 (3.92)18
Recently added bycommonwealthschool, private library, joanne14, jjsutcli, derkunstler, jonahpaul, JacobIsaacs, ejmw, ELodel
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The forgotten masterpiece of American modernism. Has a lot in common with Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises in its portrait of Americans adrift in Europe in the wake of WWI, but it's more formally experimental and much broader in scope than Hemingway's novel. This is a book of profound empathy, though with obvious blind spots around gender and race. I wept both times I read the final section, "The Body of an American." All of the USA trilogy is wonderful, but this is easily the best of the three. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
The section about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a very poignant way to end the book and to really get across the whole point. Worth reading for that effect alone. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
What a seriously strange book this was. Having received a copy of this book to listen to, I was somewhat dismayed to discover that it was the second book in a series. I absolutely abhor reading or listening to things out of order. However, I decided to start in on it without attempting book one, figuring that if I liked what I was hearing, I could run out and find book one and come back to 1919. The fact that I am reviewing this, having not reviewed the first book in the series should be rather telling.

1919 has zero plot. This is by design, but that does not endear it any more to me. The book is told in various sections: headlines/jingles, stories about regular depressing Americans, autobiographical segments (called Camera Eye) and biographies of famous Americans. Although that mixture of elements sounded really intriguing to me, it came of ass just a confusing jumble, something that I suspect may have been worse in audio format, especially with the headlines.

None of the segments interested me at all, except for some of the stories of regular folk, although those tended not to keep me enthralled either. The problem was that every one of them will destroy themselves with bad decisions, as you discover in the forward by E. L. Doctorow. So, basically, even if I did like someone, it was inevitable that I would come to hate them because they would act like an idiot. Argh!

I will give the narrator his props, because I think he did a pretty good job with this confusing mess of a book. He happily sang the songs in the headline bits and did a pretty good job differentiating the sections. I think he did mispronounce some of the Italian though.

This definitely was not a book for me. In theory, it sounded interesting, but the execution of the different sections and the pointlessness of the main people's stories just wore me down. Maybe it would have been better had I read the first book. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
I am generally not attracted to experimental literature; form tends to overpower characterisation and plot. Nor am I attracted to this period of literature as it is simultaneously historical and contemporary, and my powers of discrimination are inadequate to the task of a taking up a rational readers perspective. The USA trilogy is the exception. It is throws up a discordant stream of images of the (then) contemporary world, but offers neither judgement nor revelation. I don't hold with the common view that it is written from a leftist perspective, or from any political perspective at all. The subject matter is the stuff of the newspaper headlines of the day, and John Dos Passos has simply humanised these headlines.

The USA Trilogy has often been described as a "put-downable" book. And while I didn't find it so, it is better to be forewarned than disappointed. Sample it before you buy.

I consider it one of the Great books of the 20th Century. An almost forgotten masterpiece, and I wish it had been one of my countrymen who had written it. ( )
1 vote cogitno | Dec 16, 2007 |
This version is marred by an enormous number of typos. Great writing though. ( )
  nervenet | May 29, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Dos Passosprimary authorall editionscalculated
Geismar, MaxwellIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundkvist, ArturTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsh, ReginaldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618056823, Paperback)

With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his "vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America" (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume not only for its scope, but also for its groundbreaking style. Again, employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of modern life with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.

1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos's characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas girl, a young poet, a radical Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his "vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America" (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume not only for its scope but also for its groundbreaking style. Again, employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of modern life with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve. 1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos's characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas girl, a young poet, and a radical Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.… (more)

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Tantor Media

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