Philip Roth is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's most prolific and acclaimed writers. Roth's first novel, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), received the National Book Award, and he followed this stunning debut with more than thirty books -- earning another National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. Throughout his career, Roth delighted in controversy but often denied that he sought a role as a public intellectual. His statements and vigorous support of suppressed writers in communist Czechoslovakia, however, tell a different story.
In A Political Companion to Philip Roth, established and rising scholars explore the myriad political themes in the author's work. Several of the contributors examine Roth's writings on Jewish identity, Zionism, and American attitudes toward Israel, as well as the influence of his work in other countries. Others investigate Roth's articulation of the roles of gender and sexuality in US culture. This interdisciplinary examination offers a more complete portrait of Roth as a public intellectual and cultural icon. Not only will it fill a gap in scholarship, but it will also provide a broader perspective on the nature and purpose of the acclaimed writer's political thought.
" A Political Companion to Philip Roth demonstrates powerfully the manifold ways in which Roth's writing often helped to shape, and was in turn shaped by, the larger political climate. The range of topics covered in the volume is impressive and the standard of the contributions is consistently strong." -- David Brauner, author of Contemporary American Fiction
"This volume addresses a void in discussions of Roth's work by looking at his thinking on political matters, particularly as they involve identity, the American Jewish experience, Israel, and Cold War fears of communism." -- Choice