The Jazz Age
A Historical Exploration of Literature
by Linda De Roche
September 2015, 237pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-667-8
$74, £57, 65€, A102
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-668-5
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In 1920, more people were living in cities than on farms in America.

This intriguing study examines the truth behind the myths and misconceptions that defined the Roaring Twenties, as portrayed through the popular literary works of the time.

This one-stop reference to the “Jazz Age”—the period that began after the First World War and ended with the stock market crash of 1929—digs into the cultural, historical, and literary contexts of the era. Author Linda De Roche examines the writing of the time to look beyond the common conceptions of the Roaring Twenties and instead reflect on the era’s complexities and contradictions, including how gender and race influenced social mores.

The book profiles key American literature of the time, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Sinclair Lewis’s Babbit, Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Nella Larsen’s Passing. Filled with essays that offer historical explorations of each work as well as suggested learning activities, chapters also feature study questions, primary source documents, and chronologies. Support materials include activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, topics for further research, and suggested readings.


  • Outlines key events and developments and provides context for the historical period and work
  • Aligns with Common Core standards in English language arts and social studies
  • Discusses five major writers of the Jazz Age
  • Provides numerous suggestions for class activities and further individual exploration
  • Supplies educators with ready reference work that aligns with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) in Social Studies
  • Gives readers insight into how literature and other art forms reflect the social conditions and are inspired by events of the time
Linda De Roche, PhD, is professor of English and American studies at Wesley College, Dover, DE. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's Mary Higgins Clark: Life and Letters as well as Greenwood's Student Companion to Willa Cather and Student Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald. She holds a doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame.


"Instructors would do well to include The Jazz Age on a class reading list for the background it would afford those unfamiliar with the period. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, April 1, 2016
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