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Set in the world of authors, artists, and their patrons this novel explores the conflict between art for art sake and art for profit and fame.
It was quite controversial in it's day; some accusing Wright of preaching and others supporting his observations.
Tarkington was a widely read and prolific multiple Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and dramatist.
The story uses a tale of two families following different trajectories but linked by romance to provide a glimpse of the changes induced by industrialization and urbanization.
An epic novel set against the construction of the Union-Pacific Railroad between 1864 and 1869 and the introduction of the telegraph.
Full of wonderfully drawn characters and a central romantic thread.
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