If I Were Boss: The Early Business Stories of Sinclair Lewis

Anthony Di Renzo, Editor, Sinclair Lewis, Author Southern Illinois University Press $19.95 (408p) ISBN 978-0-8093-2139-1
""Mr. Ad Man, YOU are the priest and poet of the commercial age."" So, characteristically, begins one make-believe epigraph in this selection from the more than 60 stories, ""for and about `the tired businessman,'"" that Lewis published in popular magazines between 1915 and 1922. A former reporter, public relations man and ad copywriter, Lewis (Babbitt; Elmer Gantry) had already perfected his ear for the quick pitch and was well acquainted with the hurly-burly language of the booming early-20th-century economy when he wrote the 15 tales published here. Mostly set in midtown Manhattan, these stories concern the life-or-death intrigues of grasping middle managers like Whittier Small (""Even other commuters remarked that he looked like a commuter""), unscrupulous shysters like Lancelot Todd (author of Yes, YOU, Mr. Ad Man and Fishin' for Effishincy) and harried young lovers like Terry Ames and Sue Pratt (brought together by their impotent hatred for the corrupt advertising firm where they work). Throughout, Lewis remains intriguingly ambivalent toward the service jobs that are his characters' redemption or damnation. These stories are not masterworks by any means, but they do offer a window on the time when American workers had a less jaundiced view of the job market than they do today. DiRenzo, an historian of American business, contributes a very informative introduction. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.