If Dickens was nineteenth-century London personified, Herman Melville was the quintessential American. With a historian's perspective and a critic's insight, award-winning author Andrew Delbanco
marvelously demonstrates that Melville was very much a man of his era and that he recorded — in his books, letters, and marginalia; and in conversations with friends like Nathaniel Hawthorne and with his literary cronies in Manhattan — an incomparable chapter of American history. From the bawdy storytelling of “Typee” to the spiritual preoccupations building up to and beyond“ Moby Dick,” Delbanco brilliantly illuminates Melville's life and work, and his crucial role as a man of American letters.
is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His many books include “Melville: His World and Work” (Vintage), which won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the “Los Angeles Times” book prize in biography. He is a recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.