Sunday, July 10, 2011

Social Justice and Literary Pleasures

Emile Zola wrote of a miners' strike in France in the 1860s.  Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables, and the distorted idea of justice without mercy.  Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote of the cruel inhumanity of slavery in America in the 1850s.  These are books of weight and consequence, but also good reads for the summer.  Yeah, I know they sound like Spark Note assignments, but try one out.  Did Zola contribute to the eventual shift to a socialist government in France a hundred years later?  Did Hugo change our justice system to take account of personal traumas during the sentencing of convicted criminals?  Did Harriet Beecher Stowe accelerate the onset of the Civil War?  

NY Times Book Review--Summer Reads

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