Herman Wouk

Herman Wouk : The Novelist as Social Historian

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Description

Arnold Beichman's comprehensive study of the writings of Herman Wouk, one of America's leading writers, shows how Wouk's plays and novels exemplify an extraordinary and often highly perceptive preoccupation with American society in war and in peace. Situating Wouk in the same literary tradition as Cervantes, Richardson, Balzac, and Dickens, Beichman demonstrates that Wouk's novels have strong plots, moralist outcomes, and active--essentially positive--characters. The new introduction serves to bring Wouk's work over the past two decades into the reckoning. Making extensive use of Wouk's personal papers and manuscripts as well as personal interviews with him, Beichman's focus is on the social and literary qualities of Wouk's work. In particular, he examines eight novels including War and Remembrance and The Winds of War; The Traitor, one of his three plays; and two moral tracts on Judaism. Wouk has written four more novels, including his latest, A Hole in Texas, his twelfth. Beichman portrays Wouk as one of the few living novelists concerned with virtue, and sees his work as against the mainstream of contemporary American novelists.
These, he argues, have eschewed such elements of the traditional novel as invention, coincidences, surprises, suspense, and a moral perspective more presumed than examined.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 147.3 x 218.4 x 10.2mm | 204.12g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0765808366
  • 9780765808363

Review quote

-A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance.- --Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal -How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!- --William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review -One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work.- --John Podhoretz -Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study.- --David Frum, American Enterprise Institute -Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again.- --Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University "A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance." --Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal "How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!" --William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review "One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work." --John Podhoretz "Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study." --David Frum, American Enterprise Institute "Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again." --Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University "A straightforward, admirably concise reevaluation of an American novelist whose popularity has long obscured his significance." --Terry Teachout, drama critic, The Wall Street Journal "How fine to have Arnold Beichman's guide to the funniest and most readable and most moving of contemporary authors!" --William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review "One national treasure offers a peerless study of another national treasure in Arnold Beichman's Herman Wouk: The Novelist As Social Historian. Beichman brings titanic understanding of the 20th century, world literature, philosophy and religion to his appropriately judicious and appropriately admiring appraisal of Wouk's life work." --John Podhoretz "Beichman knows Wouk - and thanks to Beichman, so now do we all. A fascinating and eye-opening study." --David Frum, American Enterprise Institute "Arnold Beichman has written a sympathetic and illuminating account of Wouk's writing that helps us understand why it was so popular and why its importance is at least as great as its popularity. It makes you want to read the books all over again." --Professor Donald Kagan, Yale University
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About Arnold Beichman

Arnold Beichman, currently a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a regular columnist for the Washington Times, has taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, British Columbia, and Calgary. He has also written for Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and is the author of The "Other" State Department, Nine Lies about America, and CNN's Cold War Documentary: Issues and Controversy and co-author of Y.V. Andropov: A Political Biography.
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