Babbitt (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #67]
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A genuine American masterpiece." -Upton Sinclair "The equal of any novel written in English in the present century." -Virginia Woolf "It is 'Babbitt' that is [Sinclair Lewis's] most perfect creation… We have to be thankful for the minor miracle that after almost a century, 'Babbitt' still speaks to us all." -Azar Nafisi "A stunning work of realism." - H.L. Mencken Prosperous and socially prominent, George Babbitt appears to have everything a man could wish: good health, a fine family, and a profitable business in a booming Midwestern city. But the middle-aged real estate agent is shaken from his self-satisfaction by a growing restlessness with the limitations of his life. When a personal crisis forces a reexamination of his values, Babbitt mounts a rebellion against social expectations - jeopardizing his reputation and business standing as well as his marriage. Widely considered Sinclair Lewis's greatest novel, this satire of the American social landscape created a sensation upon its 1922 publication. Babbitt's name became an instant and enduring synonym for middle-class complacency, and the strictures of his existence revealed the emptiness of the mainstream vision of success. His story reflects the nature of a conformist society, in which the pressures of maintaining propriety can ultimately cause individuals to lose their place in the world. "Babbitt" ranks among the important 20th-century works addressing the struggles of people caught in the machinery of modern life, and it remains ever-relevant as a cautionary tale against clinging to conventional values.