Babbitt

Babbitt

Published 1922, Harcourt, Brace and Howe.

The second of the Orange and Blue series. Rare Sample Copy as stamped on Title Page (see photos).

First Edition, Second State. The name "Lyte" is substituted for Purdy on page 49, line 4, and the phrase "any fellow human" for "my fellow human" on line 5.

Previous owner's name inscribed on second leaf. No Dust Jacket. Condition Very Good. Interior pages very clean. Binding in excellent condition. Slight fading to spine. Some edgewear on corners.

If the novel Main Street established Sinclair Lewis as a great American novelist, Babbitt cemented his position as a satirist and commentator on American mores and values. Above all else, Babbitt was a scathing critique of American capitalism, particularly the Roaring Twenties variety.

The book takes its name from the principal character, George F. Babbitt, a middle-aged partner, with his father-in-law, in a real-estate firm. Babbitt is professionally successful as a realtor. He lives with only the vaguest awareness of the lives and deaths of his contemporaries. Much of his energy in the beginning is spent on climbing the social ladder through booster functions, real estate sales, and making good with various dignitaries. Lewis paints humorous scenes of Babbitt foolishly bartering for liquor (illegal at the time because of Prohibition), hosting dinner parties, and taking clients to view property. All of this is juxtaposed against backdrops of Babbitt's incessant materialism and his growing discontent. Gradually, Babbitt realizes his dissatisfaction with "The American Dream”. In time, he rebels against it all: he jumps into liberal politics with a famous socialist, conducts an extramarital affair with a client, and cavorts with would-be Bohemians and flappers. But each effort ends up disillusioning him to the concept of rebellion. He reverts into dispassionate conformity by the end.

$250.00