Dos Passos was one of the best-known novelists of his day, though he is almost forgotten now. I have a theory about him, based on little more than intuition: His political turn from Left to Right, which began in the 1940s and perhaps culminated in his support for Barry Goldwater in 1964, resulted in his failure to win a Nobel Prize in Literature and, perhaps more importantly, compelled liberal professors to remove him from reading lists and course syllabi. Carr’s biography does not address this subject–in fact, it seems unaware of the possibility–but I’m halfway convinced. A couple of years ago, we put his book Midcentury on our list of ten great conservative novels.
God damn those liberal elitist censors.