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Great American Authors: Since 1650

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Presented by Jane Kaczmarek, Great American Authors: 1650 to Present, presents the rich literary tradition of American storytelling. No country has produced a more impressive group of writers in a shorter period of time than America. It has been an incredible journey of finding the nation's voice, beginning with the first colonists in the 17th century to a small cadre of brilliant, 19th century, New England writers who defined the unique American experience and soul, to the whole country speaking out in the 20th Century against war, poverty, racism and alienation. Featuring such greats as Poe... Dickenson... Twain... Alcott... Hemingway... Wolfe... Steinbeck... Vonnegut... and Morrison, this eight part series presents the lives and literary output of over 60 of America's most read authors. Designed for literary enthusiasts and history buffs alike, Great American Authors: Since 1650 is a must for every 21st century library and classroom. Authors are presented in concise, stand-alone clips, in chronological order.


  • This generation of writer witnessed and participated in WWII, Korea, The Cold War, The Civil Rights movement, and Vietnam. These experiences shaped the intellect, spirit and emotion of these authors in ways that were translated into their writing. Chapters: 1959- Lorraine Hansberry's Play A Raisin in the Sun is Produced. 1961- Joseph Heller Writes Catch-22. 1966- Truman Capote Writes In Cold Blood. 1969- Kurt Vonnegut Writes Slaughterhouse Five. 1982- John Updike's Rabbit is Rich Wins Pulitzer Prize for Literature. 1989- Asian American Amy Tan Publishes The Joy Luck Club. 1993- Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and August Wilson Redefine the Black Experience. 2007- Cormac McCarthy Wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Road.

    Length: 00:28:50
    Usage rights: 1/1/2008 to 4/2/2025
  • Program 6 : 1940 to 1949

    America entered the technological age through the darkness of WWII and its aftermath. American authors were now becoming legends in their own time through mass media and popular culture. Their response was as diverse as the nation's response to living in the nuclear age. Chapters: 1940- Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls is Published. 1941- James Thurber Writes The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 1947-53- Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov make popular Science Fiction. 1948- Tennessee Williams Wins His First Pulitzer Prize for A Street Car named Desire. 1949- Arthur Miller Produces Death of a Salesman.

    Length: 00:29:00
    Usage rights: 1/1/2008 to 4/2/2025
  • Program 7 : 1950 to 1957

    If the lost generation authors were searching for identity and meaning, the group of authors in this program rejected everything about mainstream America. Ultimately they would speak to the baby boomer generation. Chapters: 1950- Gwendolyn Brooks Wins the Pulitzer Prize. 1951- Salinger and Plath Set the Stage for the Baby Boomer Generation. 1952- Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin Speak for the American Black Male. 1957- Jack Kerouac Begins the Beat Generation in American Literature. 1957- Dr. Seuss Writes The Cat in the Hat.

    Length: 00:28:28
    Usage rights: 1/1/2008 to 4/2/2025



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