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Dinner & A Book - The Magnificent Ambersons

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Episode #603 - The Magnificent Ambersons

Published in 1918, the Booth Tarkington novel about life in a Midwestern American town was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Tarkington published the novel The Turmoil in 1915. In 1923, The Midlander (later retitled National Avenue, completed the trilogy "Growth," chronicling the social upheaval of industrialism and its effects on people and places in the Midwest. These two novels preceded and then followedThe Magnificent Ambersonsin the trilogy.

Ambersons traces the country's social evolution through the decline of the once-powerful, socially prominent Amberson family. Their fall is contrasted with the rise of new industrial tycoons and land developers, whose power comes not through family connections but through financial dealings and modern manufacturing. Through it all, the novel's hero and heir to the Amberson fortune, George Amberson Minafer, clings to the ways of the past as the world changes around him.

Original Airdate: July 12, 2008