Can we ever truly understand the hearts of other people? In Philip Roth's 1997 novel, American Pastoral, we learn of the tragic derailment of the life of Seymour "Swede" Levov, a once successful businessman and former high school star athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov's happy and conventional upper-middle-class life is ruined by the domestic social and political turmoil of the 1960s.
Watch this event to discover what makes American Pastoral a great American novel. We ask: what does the American Pastoral refer to? How is it relevant for readers today?
This event featured Michael Wood, Professor of English Emeritus at Princeton University; Matthew Shipe, Senior Lecturer in English and Director of Advanced Writing at Washington University in St. Louis; and Steven Malanga, Senior Editor of City Journal and George M. Yeager Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. The discussion was moderated by NAS Director of Research David Randall.