Literature and Politics Today
The Political Nature of Modern Fiction, Poetry, and Drama
by M. Keith Booker, Editor
March 2015, 377pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-935-8
$98, £73, 82€, A140
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-936-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The futuristic novel Brave New World supplied thinly veiled social commentary.

Focusing on the intersection of literature and politics since the beginning of the 20th century, this book examines authors, historical figures, major literary and political works, national literatures, and literary movements to reveal the intrinsic links between literature and history.

Literary works have often engaged political issues, and many political writings give close attention to literary concerns. This encyclopedia explores the complex relationship between literature and politics through detailed entries written by expert contributors on authors, historical figures, major literary and political works, national literatures, and literary movements, covering specific themes, concepts, and genres related to literature and politics from the 20th century to the present. The work covers cover authors that include Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Philip K. Dick, W.E.B. Du Bois, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Toni Morrison, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, and Virginia Woolf, just to mention a few.

International in scope, Literature and Politics Today: The Political Nature of Modern Fiction, Poetry, and Drama covers writing ranging from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, with special emphasis on works written in English. The content of the some 150 alphabetically arranged entries is ideal for high school students working on assignments involving literature to explore such current yet historically ongoing social issues as censorship and propaganda. This book is appropriate for public libraries where it will serve to support student research and to help general readers learn more about enduring political concerns through literary works. Academic libraries will find this reference a valuable guide for undergraduates studying literature, history, political science, law, and other disciplines.


  • Covers numerous authors from around the world ranging from the beginning of the 20th century to the modern era
  • Enables students to better understand literary works central to the curriculum by considering them in their political contexts
  • Helps readers to use literature in order to learn about modern political and social issues across cultures and better appreciate the political significance of contemporary writings
  • Contains a number of "gateway" entries that survey entire national literatures, thereby giving readers an introduction to the authors who are important within those literatures
  • Assists students in evaluating rhetorical strategies and political views, thus fostering critical thinking in support of the Common Core State Standards
M. Keith Booker is professor of English and director of the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies program at the University of Arkansas. He has written or edited more than 40 books on literature, literary theory, and popular culture. His books include Praeger's "May Contain Graphic Material": Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Film and Red, White, and Spooked: The Supernatural in American Culture as well as Greenwood's Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas and Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels.


"A chief contribution of this worthwhile guide is its inclusion of lesser-known subjects, such as the 30 pro-communist John Reed Clubs in the U.S. or the work of Popular Front movements opposing fascism worldwide. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Beginning students and general readers."—Choice, February 3, 2016
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