A Hazard of New Fortunes
Set against a vividly depicted background of fin de siécle New York, this novel centers on the conflict between a self-made millionaire and a fervent social revolutionary-a conflict in which a man of goodwill futilely attempts to act as a mediator, only to be forced himself into a crisis of conscience. Here we see William Dean Howells's grasp of the realities of the American experience in an age of emerging social struggle. His absolute determination to fairly represent every point of view is evident throughout this multifaceted work. Both a memorable portrait of an era and a profoundly moving study of human relationships, A Hazard of New Fortunes fully justifies Alfred Kazin's ranking of Howells as "the first great domestic novelist of American life.""No one before Howells had thought to capture the teeming, heterogeneous, multifarious, high-tension city on a single great canvas. Against the variegated backdrop of New York City, Howells dramatizes the intellectual and spiritual conflicts of the democratic future." —Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
"The exactest and truest portrayal of New York and New York life ever written." —Mark Twain
"Simply prodigious."—Henry James