Video: Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

The Great American Novel Series

National Association of Scholars

When it was published, Moby-Dick was a commercial flop, and it took decades for it to be recognized as a great work of literature. What accounts for Moby-Dick's late rise to prominence? How did that compare with Melville's earlier writings? Who influenced Melville's writings, and who did his writings influence? What makes Moby-Dick a great American novel?

This event features Jeff Bilbro, associate professor of English at Grove City College and editor of Front Porch Republic; Andrew Delbanco, Alexander Hamilton professor of American studies at Columbia University and president of the Teagle Foundation; and Robert K. Wallace, regents professor of English at Northern Kentucky University and co-founder of the Melville Society Cultural Project. The discussion is moderated by David Randall.

Photo by I. W. Taber - Moby Dick - edition: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, Public Domain,

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