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Greil Marcus

Under the Red White and Blue

Patriotism, Disenchantment, and the Stubborn Myth of The Great Gatsby

Yale University Press 2020

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular Culture July 16, 2020 Lee Pierce

If Jay Gatsby is the embodiment of patriotism, what does that mean for America? Join NBN host Lee Pierce and author Greil Marcus as...

If Jay Gatsby is the embodiment of patriotism, what does that mean for America? Join NBN host Lee Pierce and author Greil Marcus as they take a deep dive into how F. Scott Fitzgerald’s vision of the American Dream has been understood, portrayed, distorted, misused, and kept alive.

In Under the Red White and Blue: Patriotism, Disenchantment, and the Stubborn Myth of The Great Gatsby” (Yale University Press, 2020), renowned critic Greil Marcus takes on the fascinating legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

An enthralling parable (or a cheap metaphor) of the American Dream as a beckoning finger toward a con game, a kind of virus infecting artists of all sorts over nearly a century, Fitzgerald’s story has become a key to American culture and American life itself.

Marcus follows the arc of The Great Gatsby from 1925 into the ways it has insinuated itself into works by writers such as Philip Roth and Raymond Chandler; found echoes in the work of performers from Jelly Roll Morton to Lana Del Rey; and continued to rewrite both its own story and that of the country at large in the hands of dramatists and filmmakers from the 1920s to John Collins’s 2006  Gatz and Baz Luhrmann’s critically reviled (here celebrated) 2013 movie version—the fourth, so far.

Greil Marcus has written many books, including  Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, The Old, Weird America, and The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. With Werner Sollors he is the editor of  A New Literary History of America.


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