The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War

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The Ambulance Drivers from journalism historian James McGrath Morris tells a fascinating story of the the friendship between literary giants and journalists Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos. They both volunteered for the Ambulance Core during World War I, learned things about the arts from times in Paris, were motivated by literary pursuits, and had influences on each other’s careers. They had different goals for their writing and different career paths, but for the most part they had the same politics at the start. They grew apart over the years and had disagreements that grew into rancor, but that was part of the the literary life of writers whose blunt criticisms went back and forth, especially at a time when parodies were popular.

One sees here also a locus of writers who could review each other’s books in ways as pleasant as acid reflux. If they had lived longer they might have reconciled, but it was what was left on the pages that was read later and for which they wanted to be remembered. This is a great telling of their struggles and of what led to their successes, showing that they also had different affiliations. The public preferred Hemingway, who is more widely remembered, the critics, Dos Passos. They and some others wrote The Great American Novels for us.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2017-Mar-28
ISBN 9780306823831 Buy this Book
Issue June 2017
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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