Faculty Book: Morris Dickstein, ed.
Morris Dickstein, ed.
William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham. Introduction and Notes by Morris Dickstein
(Barnes & Noble Classics Series. Barnes & Noble, 2007)
After the Civil War, rapid industrialization created a new crop of American multimillionaires. These nouveaux riches were rejected by the guardians of traditional society because of their "uneducated" tastes and uncouth styles. This class conflict is at the core of The Rise of Silas Lapham, one of the first American novels of manners, one of the first to look at the American businessman and self-made millionaire, and one of the first to employ realism—a style that would come to dominate twentieth-century American fiction. A devoted husband and father, fairly decent employer, and mostly honest businessman, Silas Lapham has amassed a large fortune. But he yearns for the Boston Brahmins to accept him and his two daughters. This new edition has an introduction and notes by Morris Dickstein, a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: MAR 1, 2007