The Century’s Midnight

Dissenting European and American Writers in the Era of the Second World War

by Clive Bush (Author)
Monographs XIV, 594 Pages
Series: Peter Lang Ltd. , Volume 3


The Century’s Midnight is an exploration of the literary and political relationships between a number of ideologically sophisticated American and European writers during a mid-twentieth century dominated by the Second World War. Clive Bush offers an account of an intelligent and diverse community of people of good will, transcending national, ideological and cultural barriers. Although structured around five central figures – the novelist Victor Serge, the editors Dwight Macdonald and Dorothy Norman, the cultural critic Lewis Mumford and the poet Muriel Rukeyser – the book examines a wealth of European and American writers including Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Walter Benjamin, John Dos Passos, André Gide, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, George Orwell, Boris Pilniak, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ignacio Silone and Richard Wright.
The book’s central theme relates politics and literature to time and narrative. The author argues that knowledge of the writers of this period is of inestimable value in attempting to understand our contemporary world.


XIV, 594
ISBN (eBook)
Publication date
2011 (April)
Oxford, 2010. XIV, 594 pp., 4 ill.

Biographical notes

Clive Bush (Author)

Clive Bush is Emeritus Professor of American Literature at King’s College London. He pioneered the teaching of American Studies at the University of Warwick from 1966 to 1990. His books include Halfway to Revolution: Investigation and Crisis in the Work of Henry Adams, William James and Gertrude Stein (1991) and Holding the Line: Selected Essays in American Literature and Culture (Peter Lang, 2009).


Title: The Century’s Midnight