A Hazard of New Fortunes (Paperback)
|Author: William Dean/ Schlesinger Howells||Introduction: Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr. Arthur Meier Schlesinger Everett Carter|
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|A robust account of the tumultuous conflict between wealth and conscience in turn-of-the-century New York, Howells's great novel gets at the heart of the American experience at a time of great transformation and remains one of his most enduring and relevant works. This edition includes newly commissioned endnotes.|
From the Publisher:
Centering on a conflict between a self-made millionaire and an idealistic reformer in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York, A Hazard of New Fortunes insightfully renders the complexities of the American experience at a time of great social and economic upheaval and transformation. In its depiction of wealth, poverty, and New York City life, it remains a strikingly contemporary work.
Reproduced here is the authoritative Indiana University Press Edition edited and annotated by David J. Nordloh, with full scholarly commentary and extensive textual apparatus.
Howells's formal education ended at age 7 when his father's printing and newspaper business failed and William left school to work and set type in his father's new venture. However, the Howells family--always in the printing business in one form or another--strongly encouraged books and reading. As a boy, William began setting his own stories and poems into type and inserting them into his father's newspapers. His formal newspaper career began in 1857 when he became an editor at the Cincinnati Gazette and then literary editor of the Ohio State Journal. Eventually, after the Civil War (during which he served as U.S. consul to Venice), he moved to New York and rose to become editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1871. In 1881 he began to devote himself full-time to writing fiction. He also wrote criticism, travel books (chiefly about Italy), and a series of literary reminiscences, and from 1900 to 1920 he wrote the "Easy Chair" column in Harper's Monthly. As a novelist, Howells was strongly influenced by the Russians. He detested the sentimentality (which he called "slop, silly slop") of much 19th-century fiction and its lack of intellectual content. A socialist and activist, Howells believed that the novelist who painted a tough and realistic picture of life--rather than concentrating on plot--could effect changes in society.The son of esteemed historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Schlesinger, Jr. went to Harvard University, where he got his B. A. in 1938. An early work, THE AGE OF JACKSON, won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1946. As a result, he was offered a position at Harvard. He spent over 30 years on his three-volume study, THE AGE OF ROOSEVELT. A democrat and a liberal, Schlesinger was a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action and was a supporter of Adlai Stevenson. Schlesinger was a close family confidante of the Kennedys, and served as advisor to JFK. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Kennedy's term in office, A THOUSAND DAYS. In the '70s, he wrote a very laudatory biography, ROBERT KENNEDY & HIS TIMES. Schlesinger has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was elected to the prestigious American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has been on the faculty of The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.