First Published In , The Nobel Prize Winner S Classic Satirical Novel Accompanied By A Critical Introduction By John Wickersham Follows Middle Class Businessman And Upstanding Citizen George Babbit On His Sometimes Hilarious Quest For A Greater Purpose In Life Reissue

5 thoughts on “Babbitt

  1. Allen Smalling Allen Smalling says:

    In 1922 the ultimate middleman, George F Babbitt from Floral Heights, Cincinnati, took the stage and showed a character who was crass, pushy, materialistic, conformist yet occasionally sympathetic Caustic but funny satirical novel never gets old, possibly because American class distinctions haven t changed all that much over the years This is the starting place for Sinclair Lewis s most important novels, not MAIN STREET which showed Americans the way things had been, but BABBITT that showed Americans they way things were and Europeans the way things they d always suspected Highly recommended.

  2. blueotter blueotter says:

    I enjoyed Babbitt much than I thought I would It s not easy at the start, as the reader gets thrown into a rah rah early 20th century American business environment in the fictional city of Zenith There isn t a whole lot of plot it s a novel of characters, including, of course, George Babbitt He initially appears to be a pumped up, full of himself aspirant to the 1% For a large portion of the book he says all the right things at various local community clubs and political events about squashing unions and rewarding the go getters needed to get the country back on its feet after the first world war He gets a reputation as an orator, and his real estate business prospers But even as he becomes a leader in Zenith s boosterism, underneath it all he yearns to slip away with the fairy child of his dreams He was somewhere among unknown people who laughed at him He slipped away, ran down the paths of a midnight garden, and at the gate the fairy child was waiting Her dear and tranquil hand caressed his cheek He was gallant and wise and well beloved warm ivory were her arms and beyond the perilous moors the brave sea glittered.After a friend s life takes a disastrous turn, Babbitt rebels and for a time searches for the fairy child among women of his acquaintance He is reminded of his liberal views when young, and begins to see his own rebellious son differently.The book was a huge success in its time, and in 1930 Lewis won the Nobel Prize, the first American to do so He writes really well, and than once I thought this was what Updike was trying to do, with less success Babbitt is a satire of crass American commercialism and superficial optimism, but the book also has a heart Babbitt became a word in our lexicon defined as a person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle class standards To me, that definition is unfair, as Georgie Babbitt wasn t an unthinking conformist He yearned for escape with the fairy child, but determinedly, with pep, he tried to make the best of the hand he saw himself dealt A four star read.

  3. J. R. Iglesias J. R. Iglesias says:

    Este libro fue publicado en 1922 pero es incre blemente actual Bastaria colocar una computadora y un celular en la mesa de los personajes y podr amos situarlo en el siglo XXI Es un retrato por momentos cruel de las aspiraciones de Babbitt, un agente inmobiliario que al mismo tiempo que busca el suceso financiero pero esencialmente social, se interroga sobre si es eso que quiere realmente en la vida El suceso se mide por la casa, el auto, las relaciones, los clubes y sociedades a las que pertenece y el reconocimiento social Babbitt por momentos lucha contra estas exigencias y por momentos se entrega al conformismo Es un personaje m s complejo que la apariencia inicial de superficialidad Quiero leer otros libros de este autor

  4. Lindsey Peterson Lindsey Peterson says:

    Lewis portrait of the striving middle class is just as appropriate for today s society as it was when he wrote it His critique of the ideal citizen rings just as true now as then The hypocracy is just as obvious, and the reward for virtue just as strong When one of the good fellows starts to think through his position and criticize it, he is ostracized for his unorthodox thoughts, for becoming a red, even though he s nothing close to it The worst of the red baiting was yet to come when Lewis wrote Babbitt, but he captures the idea of it pretty well, and the modern parallel seems to be anti muslim sentiment.One of the interesting recurring themes in the book is discussing the benefit of Prohibition while flouting it In good society, one must always discuss the virutes of Prohibition, especially for the lower classes who need it, so as not to exceed in their imbibing Congress didn t understand the right system Now, if I d been running the thing, I d have arranged it so that the drinker himself was licensed, and then we could have taken care of the shiftless workman kept him from drinking and yet not ve interfered with the rights with the personal liberty of fellows like ourselves The sentiment of this statement seems to be expressed constantly by various groups still today Let s take away the rights that these people certainly cannot be trusted with, but make sure we still get to exercise them It seems preposterous to say who can and cannot have a drink, based on another man s opinion of him, but yet we seem to think it s alright for a number of other activitiesIn Babbitt s world, the Good Citizen is the ideal citizen, the man who knows what s best for society and does it, without complaining He enjoys what he is supposed to enjoy the modest benefits of a modern, consumerist society , and loathes what he s supposed to loathe anyone that business leaders tell you is threatening the current situation They all strive to have the same marks of good taste and mild affluence These standard advertised wares toothpastes, socks, tires, cameras, instantaneous hot water heaters were his symbols and proofs of excellence But most importantly, it s important to remember that that which is an ideal in the Good Citizen is a fault when it is in someone else, especially if it is a vice and they are poorer than you or the good thing is too exclusive for you to take part in it and they are of a higher class.

  5. John B. Biggs John B. Biggs says:

    Lewis took too long in making points about town life in rural America in the 20s the hierarchies, greed, materialism, hypocrisy, rivalries But about halfway through the Babbitt became a sympathetic figure with a roaring midlife crisis that made him into a sympathetic character Later in It Could Happen Here he uses these characteristic of Americans to argue that a Trump like dictator could easily arise as nearly 80 years later it did.