Culture Wars Redux: The stormy early reception of The Cambridge History of the American Novel

The first review of The Cambridge History of the American Novel appeared in The Wall Street Journal. It was an extravagant attack by the conservative commentator Joseph Epstein, who described it as the work of “barbarians.” (You can read it here.)

The barbarians remain grateful for the attention. We’ve used the opportunity to respond at length. First to the mattresses was my coeditor Ben Reiss, who wrote this piece in Slate. The following week, my own essay appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Read these all together and then I dare you to tell me that the culture wars are over.

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