Publisher Harcourt, Brace, New York Date: 1922. First Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Fine-. First Printing (no further printings noted), Second Issue, with 'Lyle' for 'Purdy' and'any' for 'my' p. 49 (only 9500 copies of the first issue were printed before those two corrections were made). Thick 8vo: ,401, pp. Publisher's royal blue cloth, upper cover and spine lettered in black, 1922 on first front blank. Please see pictures for condition. Measures: 5 7/8” X 8 3/8”
Sinclair Lewis's unconventionally written tale of a middling, middle-aged man in a mid level career in a Midwestern town facing a series of psychological crises that reveal to him the emptiness of his superficially successful and prosperous life. Like Main Street, Lewis's first best-selling novel, Babbitt generated controversy (Lewis found himself the target of articles in such unlikely journals as the National Real Estate Journal, Rotarian, and Nation's Business), became a cultural phenomenon, and contributed a new word to the language. Generally, reviewers saw the book as an advance on Main Street, with fewer dull spots. Because of it, H. L. Mencken became an avid Lewis supporter, writing in Smart Set that the novel was both a great "social document" and "bitingly funny." For many later readers, the book defines the 1920s, as did Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. And, not incidentally, it was more than partially responsible for Lewis winning the Nobel Prize. (adapted from The Literary Encyclopedia).
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