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Babbitt

Sinclair Lewis - Author

James M. Hutchisson - Introduction by

James M. Hutchisson - Notes by

Paperback | $12.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780140189025 | 400 pages | 01 Apr 1996 | Penguin Classics | 5.11 x 7.75in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Babbitt Summary of Babbitt Reviews for Babbitt An Excerpt from Babbitt

A satirical portrait of a town obsessed by capitalism and the "values" of the marketplace

George F. Babbitt, a conniving, prosperous real estate man from Zenith, Ohio, revels in his popularity, his success, and, especially, in the material rewards they bring. He bullies his wife, flirts with other women, and patronizes the less successful. But when his best friend is sent to prison for killing his wife, Babbitt's middle-class complacency is shattered, and he rebels, seeking a more "meaningful" life. His small revolt is quickly defeated, however, by public opinion and his own need for acceptance. Babbitt captures the flavor of America during the economic boom years of the 1920's, and its protagonist has become the symbol of middle-class mediocrity, his name an enduring part of the American lexicon.

"The equal of any novel written in English in the present century."
—Virginia Woolf in The Saturday Review

“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, in The Republic of Imagination

Babbitt is now well into its nineties, but George F. Babbitt still lives and breathes and harrumphs. It’s impossible, especially during any American election season, to read a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing the echoes of his voice. Babbitt is the original American everyman.” —Nathaniel Rich, from the Foreword

"The equal of any novel written in English in the present century." —Virginia Woolf, The Saturday Review