Other Fiction Tarkington, Booth: Growth – A Trilogy (omnibus). v1. 26 Feb 2021
#1  GrannyGrump 02-26-2021, 07:11 AM
These three novels trace the growth of the United States as illustrated in a fictional Midwestern town, between the end of the Civil War and the early part of the 20th century, a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America.

Overview of the books:
Spoiler Warning below

The Magnificent Ambersons:
The declining fortunes of three generations of the aristocratic Amberson family are contrasted with the rising fortunes of industrial tycoons and other new-money families, which did not derive power from family names but by “doing things.” Tarkington’s nuanced portrayal of the often-unlikable Amberson family and his paradoxical framing of progress as a destroyer of family, community, and environment, make The Magnificent Ambersons a fascinating and forward-thinking novel—certainly one with a permanent place in the American social canon. Despite the often heavy themes, Tarkington’s prose remains uniquely witty, charming, and brisk.
(—wikipedia, —standardebooks)

The Turmoil:
A narrative of loss and change, a love story, and a warning about the potential evils of materialism, the book chronicles two midwestern families trying to cope with the onset of industrialization: the Sheridans, whose integrity wanes as their wealth increases, and the Vertrees, who remain noble but impoverished. Linked by the romance between a Sheridan son and a Vertrees daughter, the story of the two families provides a dramatic view of what America was like on the verge of a new order.

The Midlander:
Where The Turmoil focuses on industrialization’s effect on art and culture, and The Magnificent Ambersons focuses on industry’s destruction of family and of small-town life, this book focuses on the men and women who actually bring that change about. A deeper look into the contrast between the visionary booster, builder and the more staid conservative older generation. The protaginist, Dan, is portrayed sympathetically, but Tarkington makes it clear that his dreams and choices lead to a deeply unhappy family life and the ruination of the land around him. But can Dan really be faulted for his dream, or is industry inevitable, and inevitably destructive?
(—standardebooks, —goodreads)

Newton Booth Tarkington (July 29, 1869 – May 19, 1946) was an American novelist and dramatist best known for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and Alice Adams (1921) [Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1919 and 1922 respectively].

Much of Tarkington’s work consists of satirical and closely observed studies of the American class system and its foibles. In the 1910s and 1920s, Tarkington was regarded as the great American novelist, as important as Mark Twain. His works were reprinted many times, were often on best-seller lists, won many prizes, and were adapted into other media.

The Magnificent Ambersons was first published 1918; The Turmoil 1915; The Midlander 1923. This omnibus is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.
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