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Saul Bellow is one of the twentieth century’s most influential, respected, and honored writers. His novels The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler’s Planet won the National Book Award, and Humboldt’s Gift was awarded the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In addition, his plays garnered popular and critical acclaim, and some were produced on Broadway. Known for his insights into life in a post-Holocaust world, Bellow’s explorations of modernity, Jewish identity, and the relationship between art and society have resonated with his readers, but because his writing is not overtly political, his politics have largely been ignored.

This title examines the author’s novels, essays, short stories, and letters in order to illuminate his evolution from liberal to neoconservative. It investigates Bellow’s exploration of the United States as a democratic system, the religious and ideological influences on his work, and his views on race relations, religious identity, and multiculturalism in the academy. Featuring a fascinating conclusion that draws from interviews with Bellow’s sons, this accessible companion is an excellent resource for understanding the political thought of one of America’s most acclaimed writers.

Gloria L. Cronin is professor of English at Brigham Young University. She is coeditor of the Saul Bellow Journal and executive director of the International Saul Bellow Society, as well as coauthor or coeditor of several books, including Jewish American and Holocaust Literature: Representation in the Postmodern World.

Lee Trepanier is professor of political science at Saginaw Valley State University and coeditor of Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization: Citizens without States.

This volume pulls together an impressive array of authors and examinations of Bellow, presenting a diverse and substantive exploration of Bellow’s work, his life, and the evolution of his political thought. -- Lilly J. Goren -- Carroll University

The volume will most assuredly open a broader conversation in the academy and among the public about Bellow’s political thought. This new information contributes not just to the study of the life and work of Saul Bellow, but to scholarship in American literature, American Jewish literature, Jewish studies, and other fields. -- Holli Levitsky, Loyola Marymount University, and 2001–2002 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Literature in Poland.

The political underpinnings of the Pulizer Prize-winning author of The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, and Humboldt’s Gift.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Saul Bellow, Political views, Social views, Politics, Literature, United States


Literature in English, North America


Edited by Gloria L. Cronin and Lee Trepanier with contributions by Judie Newman, Ben Siegel, Michael W. Austin, Daniel K. Muhlestein, Carol R. Smith, Victoria Aarons, Andrew Gordon, Willis Salomon, and Gloria L. Cronin.

A Political Companion to Saul Bellow
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