New book forthcoming next year

I’ve signed a contract with Anthem Press for the publication of my most recent book, currently titled Bonfires of the American Dream in American Rhetoric, Literature, and Film. Anthem also published Literature and Inequality. Currently scheduled to come out in May 2022.

The book includes 3 main case studies. The first discusses Russell Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds speech and the John Galt speech near the end of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The second discusses The Great Gatsby, with reference not just to the text itself but also its changing reception across the decades. The third discusses the films It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wolf of Wall Street.

The new book is only half as long as Literature and Inequality, and more tightly focused. L & I not only had a much broader canvas but also was engaged in making the methodological case for such studies. Here much of the focus is on what features of our national culture across time could have brought us to where we are now.