Prospects of a Golden Age, 1959

This impressionistic biography of America’s founding fathers expands the membership of this iconic group to include the painters, architects, explorers, and writers whose work marked a “golden age” in history. It functions as cultural biography as well as personal—hagiography intended to inspire an intellectual renaissance in postwar America.

Newsweek likens his imagistic biography to the “bleached, unshadowed, unretouched, unromanticized authenticity of Matthew Brady’s great Civil War photographs.” Based on Prospects of a Golden Age and other works celebrating individual liberty, Time likens Dos Passos to the late Justice Louis D. Brandeis, “champion of the individual, implacable foe of organized Bigness.” In The Saturday Review of Literature, Edgar Ansel Mowrer says, “If John Dos Passos ever founds a political party he can count on me as a charter member. I do not share his enthusiasm for the sociological approach to situations but I do share his respect for facts and for freedom.”

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