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The Sure Thing, by Merle Miller; The Sea Change, by Nigel Dennis; The Oasis, by Mary McCarthy

- Abstract

Until fairly recently—when Lionel Trilling’s The Middle of the Journey marked a change in mood—novelists saw the American liberalism of the 30′s as a purely political phenomenon. The Sea Change and The Oasis, following Mr. Trilling, reflect a trend of greater concern with morality than politics, with character than class, and describe the devouring shadow that the liberalism of the 30′s has thrown on aesthetics, culture, even private emotions. The Sure Thing, on the other hand, expresses with vulgar innocence the very attitudes they excoriate.

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